As elephant’s last issue comes out (we’re putting 100% into our web site [please subscribe to our weekly enewsletter if you want to support!], and will continue our talk show/ecofashion parties), I look with wistful gaze at the few independent magazines in the US not funded by trustafarians or multi-kajillionaires—is it possible, in this day and age, to start a magazine, build it up, and see it reach national relevance if you don’t have deep pockets or backseat investors? I tried my darnedest for six llooonnllnoonlnlong years—we got national distribution but have, say, two years more to go before being GOOD, Yoga Journal or DWELL-sized
Given our readers’ support, little elephant would likely have succeeded if I hadn’t hit a wall, burn-out-wise, and made two errors of judgement in the last six months—you can’t afford to make two mistakes in a row when you’re independent and broke. You got no insulation from reality.
But, then, I consider the millions (literally?) of blogs sprouting up, and I think this is a good, new age for the battered but noble Fourth Estate. It’s never been cheaper, easier, to get the word out from the grassroots to the mainstream.
But then I think of the great newspapers, and their investigative reporting, and I think of all the papers closing their foreign bureaus—how many blogs sent reporters to Alaska to look into Palin’s past when we find ourselves with a trouble, unknown candidate thrust upon the national scene with only seven weeks to go? It’s the elbow grease that may go missing…new blogs are echo chambers, no matter how witty or intelligent or well-written. Original reporting is endangered (see Bill Moyers’ recent special on this subject on PBS).
I leave you with a few personally-heartening videos with Ben Goldhirsch, founder of GOOD magazine, one of my favorite magazines on the shelves today:
hot on elephant
A letter to the Anger that refuses to Leave Me. 104 shares The Most Powerful Moon of the Year: New Moon & Solar Eclipse in Pisces. 36,752 shares A Relationship will only be as Good as the Sex. 10,418 shares Welcome to Pisces Season: A Love there is no Coming Back From. 12,764 shares How Women ruin Good Men. 3,651 shares If You have to “Think About It,” then I’m Not the One for You. 4,630 shares What Rumi had to Say about Unhappy Love. 225 shares Not sure I thought I’d ever say this, but Ashton Kutcher is about to inspire you to tears. 2,239 shares A Cure for our Single Status. 514 shares How we can go to Heaven without Dragging Others with Us. 111 shares