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Good News from the Indie Press: Bitch Lives!

 by Danielle Maestretti


Tags: media, independent press, independent magazines, feminist magazines, Bitch, Danielle Maestretti,

Bitch 41In case you hadn’t heard the good news, Bitch has been saved—and then some. On Monday, September 15, the Portland-based feminist magazine issued a red-alert call for donations: They needed to raise $40,000 by October 15, they said, in order to print the next issue.

“Save Bitch!” posts quickly spread throughout the blogosphere, and within three days, they’d surpassed their goal—they were already looking at $46,000. And even then, donations kept pouring in; they’re up to about $55,000 as of last week, according to Bitch publisher Debbie Rasmussen.

If you’re wondering how an independent magazine is able to mobilize that much support in an economy this crappy, look no further than the lovefests—er, comments sections—here and here. People feel invested in Bitch, in its past and present and future; they remember the first time they read it, and what they’ve loved and hated about it; it speaks to them so strongly that they feel it’s worth more than $20 a year. That depth of connection, that strength of community—that is the future of independent publishing.

lorna immel
10/8/2008 4:22:00 AM

I am so relieved that Bitch is continuing. This is of the FEW intelligent, though-provoking, discussion-starting, magazines around that is an essential tool of social change operating in a conglomerate-controlled publishing atmosphere. In an age where the mainstream media is bombarding people of all ages/genders with messages of so-called "rules of conformity," Bitch is the antidote to those "rules." Four times a year, and often on their website, they remind people that just because the mainstream media tells you to do something ... or become a certain someone in their own image ... you can decide for yourself that do not have to do it ... that you can be better in your own sound mind and body than what the mainstream media is telling you what you are. Important Note: Even though Bitch is additionally venturing into more interactive media, it seems that the consensus on their website's blog/comments section has a strong desire for the print publication to continue. Readers/donors need to continuously contribute financially in order for the magazine to keep publishing in a print format. The reality is that printing/production costs increase regardless of economy, technological advances, and/or environmental situations. At present, the enviromental concerns situation combined with technological advances, will be keeping paper and printing costs continuously increasing for a very long time to come. Think $40,000 is a set rate to publish an issue? The one after the next one could possibly cost $45,000-maybe even $50,000!! Continuous fundraising is CRUCIAL to Bitch's future as a print-publication, which many of its readers seem to want most. I hope that all those who donated last month will keep this important "food for thought" in mind. There are more "hurdles" ahead.