August 2, 2009
I think OTI is marvellous and rely heavily on it – but it is a shame it is no longer available in hard copy not just for the pleasure of it but for the visibility and passing on quality of it and its issues. What I mean is that it has become easier and easier to ghettoise issues into internet corners that preach to the converted. It is harder and harder to find gendered content in national mainstream print or broadcast media. I know I now go to 2 or 3 key feminist blogs/websites for my gender content. They are great but only 2 or 3 years ago, limited as it was, I could find some gendered content in national broadsheet media. If we had On the issues in hard copy we could read it in public places, leave it on trains and at bus stops, hand over a copy of the magazine for someone to skim an article right there and then. A web reference is not the same as it has to be sent and accessed by technology and is likely only to be accessed by someone who really wants to read it and is interested in it. Hard copy is much easier to force something into someone’s consciousness and visibly demonstrate that, in the case of feminism, people are feminists, are reading it, are concerned and are not ashamed – vital in a climate that uses feminism as a dirty word. We can make it easier for people to engage with feminism if we are visibly engaging it with ourselves – hard copy print media is marvellous for this.
Posted by: xxmkn
Reply from the editors: We’re delighted that you find provocative gendered content here. We also loved On The Issues Magazine as a print publication (1983-1999). Unfortunately, the costs became prohibitive. Printing and mailing were subsidized by a single health care clinic- Choices Women’s Medical Center – but at half a million dollars per year with losses of $250,000 annually, the publication couldn’t be sustained. Now, the Internet offers exciting opportunities for revival. While we still have many costs in maintaining the site and an editorial staff, it is possible to use new technology to keep strong feminist conversations thriving. And this way anyone with a printer is empowered to hand out her favorite stories to colleagues, classes — and even at the bus stop. So take liberties … we approve!