Publish and Be Financially Independent

It sounds like a mission impossible: set up a progressive publication, one which doesn’t shirk from flicking the comfortable and comforting the afflicted, and don’t worry if the money doesn’t immediately roll in.

Robert Scheer, former columnist at the LA Times, sacked, he says, because of his opposition to the Iraq War, is trying to do exactly this. Truthdig is “an attempt to put out a good solid magazine of substance that has a progressive point of view.” Rather than competing with old media, he aims to produce “evergreen” copy giving readers in-depth analyses on current news stories. How to keep the “webzine” financially afloat? No get rich scheme, Truthdig will eventually depend on ad revenue as well as sponsorship for specific projects.
Online Journalism Review

Two further suggestions from Joe Mathewson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, banker and corporate lawyer. Newspapers benefit our civic health in ways which far outstrip the profits they bring to their investors. Simple tax legislation could make it easier for newspaper owners to convert ailing businesses into not-for-profit companies, into tax deductible gifts. Or newspapers could follow the US real estate investment trust model: distribute all profits to shareholders and get an exemption from federal taxes.
Editor and Publisher