At a political meeting recently, one woman got up and told us what rubbish ‘the media’ was and how you could not trust it. Others agreed. It gradually became clear that their idea of ‘media’ consisted of the corporate big fish in the mainstream. Not independent minnows like the New Internationalist.
It’s no secret that print media is struggling in these straitened times. Newspapers are worst hit. But magazines too are feeling the pinch. New Internationalist is no exception. In some ways we are fortunate in that we never relied too much on the now collapsing advertising market. Nor have we had a sugar daddy or mummy in the background that could cut us off without a penny.
Our business model is based on people like you subscribing to the magazine, buying the books we publish and the fair trade and ethical products we stock in our shop (shop.newint.org). And it’s thanks to you that the media does not consist entirely of just a few mass circulation titles in hock to corporate power. I’d love to hear from you (firstname.lastname@example.org) if there is anything you think we should be covering or could be doing differently.
This issue’s main theme is the hot topic of population. Is the mounting panic about increasing human numbers reasonable? There’s an on-the-ground special report from the recent Copenhagen climate talks by Jess Worth. And we tell the inspiring story of an against-all-odds friendship between Rami Elhanan, an Israeli, and Bassam Aramin, a Palestinian, who feature in our best-selling book Nine Lives. As usual at this time, we present The Unreported Year 2009, a round-up of the best films, music and books, and the NI Jumbo Crossword.
Vanessa Baird for the New Internationalist co-operative.