"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wThursday, June 26, 2003

JAY CURRIE IS WRONG: I tried to come up with a better title but it's been that sort of day. Blogger Jay Currie insists that social conservatism and not KMG's explanation, "an utter collapse of editorial standards," was to blame for the Report's loss of influence and readership these last few years:

Most purely editorial lapses are missed entirely by readers. Not all readers, but a majority. You do not lose 20,000 subscribers in four years only because the editor is either not doing or is not permitted to do his job. You lose them because you are out of touch with their priorities.

OK, then, try this. Start out with a weekly magazine that has three distinct regional formats (Alberta Report, Western Report, B.C. Report) and news bureaus all over the place, which has something of a sense of humor and is quite responsive to readers. Now fold the three into one "national" magazine, reduce the frequency to every other week, charge almost as much, close the bureaus, fire the reporters, keep a skeleton staff of editor-reporters, constrict the range of what they can write about (by, for instance, killing the culture review section), and make them turn in an absurt ammount of copy every issue, often about subjects which bore them. Presto! You lose 20,000 readers in four years. No social conservatism necessary.

posted by Jeremy at 8:01 PM