As Utne.com reported back in April, postage and distribution costs can determine whether the rowboat floats or sinks for independent publications. That’s why the alt press has been sounding the alarms for months about a federal regulation change that boosted postal rates for small-circulation publications as of July 15.
But all hope is not lost. We just got an email news alert from media watchdog Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) rallying concerned citizens to make their voices heard as a congressional subcommittee meets on reversing the price hike tomorrow (October 30). FAIR is directing folks to the media reform group Free Press, where people can sign a petition and send form letters to their representatives.
According to both FAIR and Free Press, the new rates have, in some cases, lowered the cost of postage for high-circulation giants like Time, Newsweek, and People, but raised postage for lower-circulating independent magazines. In fact, Time Warner—the country’s largest magazine publisher—was the architect behind the plan.
Peter Rothberg has a great round-up on the issue over at the Nation’s Act Now blog, along with some inspiring details about how concerned citizens have gotten the price hike back on legislators’ radar.—Eric Kelsey