The farmer I talked to last week who shared news of the decision
to suspend publication of the New Farm was one of the The New Farm's
cooperators. He said that it was determined that the magazine had
too small a market share to justify its ongoing publication. Also
that "the information was deemed to be available elsewhere."
This concerns me on several counts:
1. *Where else* can people get such information as has been published
in The New Farm? The whole point of doing specialty publishing is
precisely to target smaller audiences and pull together specialized
information to deliver to their doorstep.
2. At least since the Enlightenment, the impact of small press runs
on large social systems and issues has been well demonstrated--I
cite my old drinking buddy Tom Paine as one case in point. But
there's more than the free exchange of information in a democracy at
stake. The McDonaldsization of communications is putting publishers
in the position of having to constantly go for higher market shares.
What will this mean for areas like sustainable ag, organic farming,
etc., which are unlikely to ever be mainstream (or brainless) enough
to command readerships the magnitude of some mainstream periodicals?
3. Is there anyone here on the SANET mailgroup from Rodale who'd be
willing to discuss with us how Rodale Institute made the decision to
suspend publication of The New Farm?
Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
Agricultural Technology and Family Farm Institute
UW-Madison--Voice: (608) 262-8018 FAX: (608) 265-3020
I always understood everything Casey Stengel said.
There are days this worries me. --Anonymous