From the Editor
Last week we went lobbying. The Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security (CIIPS) is reviewing its policy on funding magazines, and the survival of PEACE Magazine depends on the outcome. (Since publishing is a business that is markedly affected by economies of scale, all small magazines depend on subsidies. We are not eligible for the sources that fund "cultural" magazines.) Our phoning proved valuable.
- We were overwhelmed by the good will toward PEACE Magazine! About 95 percent of the activists and politicians we called wanted to help. We were touched by their warmth. We learned how many friends a small publication can have. It was a terrific morale boost. Thank you.
- All parties responded. We phoned numerous Members of Parliament and found them almost all warmly responsive to our need. We never support any party, and indeed, all parties' policies have been criticized in PEACE. This did not enter the discussion. The M.P.s all supported open debate of these issues, evidently without trying to make sure that we play up their party's arguments. We finished phoning with more respect for politicians generally than when we began.
- Magazine publishing is a serious responsibility. Our phoning turned up one story of hard feelings that had been created by an article in PEACE, partly as a result of editorial decisions. By giving the piece a snappier title and editing out some qualifications (which had seemed merely wordy to us) we had made its tone more critical than the author had intended and had provoked antagonism toward her and toward PEACE. All articles need to be edited and usually shortened. This was a sober reminder that there are also (inevitably) drawbacks. Equally disturbing is that only by probing did we discover this. Message: You need to tell us or we'll never know.
- Some readers don't understand an "open forum." Sometimes readers express outrage that we've published an article with which they disagree. They seem surprised when, instead of apologizing and promising not to publish such ideas again, we ask them to write a response!
- We serve the entire peace constituency, not just one branch of it. We want a full debate of a full range of ideas. We can't do that if we print only opinions that we like. Sometimes we print articles that most of the editors dislike intensely. Occasionally, we consider an article too partial to publish without an immediate counter, so we ask someone to take the opposite side. Mostly, however, we simply wait for readers to reply. We count on unsolicited articles. Keep them coming -- especially if you hate what we've published.
- Should we print footnotes? We publish articles that raise eyebrows, such as John Bacher's series on the "secret team." In an open forum, articles represent the conclusions of the authors, not the magazine, but citations could be used to back up claims. We don't print footnotes, since writers easily get carried away with them. However, let us know what you think.
- We were supposed to acknowledge previous grants from CIIPS. I didn't know that and didn't do it. We do appreciate the CIIPS funds which have kept us going the past three years. We received $12,000 the first year, $9,000 the second year, and $6,000 the third year. We are deeply grateful.