Who Reads PEACE?

By Marianne Larsen

TO ALL you readers who took the time to complete our 1989 Readers' Survey! Almost 150 readers replied to it, and letters keep coming in. We will try to implement your suggestions in upcoming issues. We think you'll want to see the profile of our readers, summarizing their answers to this survey.

Average Age: 58 Women: 44% Men 56%

Educated?

Yes, indeed! The average number of years of formal education among our readers is 20. One reader wrote: "Some people consider the material in PEACE Magazine too difficult reading...You are assuming an advanced level of education." Another told us, "the magazine is quite boring." You can't win.

Where did you first see a copy?

Almost three-fourths of our readers came across their first copy at a meeting with their peace group or a friend.

The average number of copies seen is 18, indicating that most of our readers have been long term supporters.

What groups do you belong to?

It's a wonder that the respondents had time to fill out the survey! Here's a sampling of some of those groups: Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Voice of Women, Veterans Against Nuclear Arms, Pagans for Peace, Pax Christi, Council of Canadians, Unitarian Church, Oxfam, Peace Educators' Network, Project Ploughshares, and other local peace groups, women's organizations, Central American solidarity, and environmental groups.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

The map below shows the distribution of our respondents

BC 24% Prairies 14% Ontario 47% Quebec 11% Atlantic 7%

A French PEACE Magazine?

Gops, we goofed. Many of you said you would like to see PEACE publish in French, if it were financially feasible. But as other readers reminded us, there already exists a fine French quarterly on peace and disarmament: Option Paix. Interested? Write to Mouvement Option- Paix, P.O. Box 1037, Station B, Hull, PQ, J8Y 3X5.

Favorite Sections of PEACE

As expected, over three-quarters of our readers chose analytical atticles as a favorite section of the magazine. Other popular sections include: Interviews with Peace Activists (see the two interviews in this issue), Peace Education (we have plans for a special theme issue on this topic) and the Letters page.

What's Hot, What's Not

Peace Education, the Environment and Human Rights -- these are the top three issues in which our readers are most interested. They are closely followed by Economic Costs of the Arms Race; Disarmament and Development; and Arctic Demilitarization. At the bottom of the list: Star Wars, Chemical Weapons and Military Alliances.

Peace Calendar: Here to Stay

Sixty percent of our respondents said we shouldn't cut the Peace Calendar. (So we won't.) Although a number of people noted that the Peace Calendar is not complete and often out of date, most readers liked the calendar because it was encouraging to see what was going on in the peace movement across the country. Some of the comments that we received were: "Wouldn't that [cutting Peace Calendar] damage the organizations that work for peace?" and "The Peace Calendar is an invaluable service. Nothing is accomplished by reading about the ills of society, only by positive and constructive action. The Peace Calendar allows people to participate. I recommend you not remove it.

Biased? Who, us?

A few of the comments that we received revealed that our readers think that PEACE is biased -- in favor of peace, of course. "As Rosalie Bertell said once, "You show me both sides of cannibalism and I'll show you both sides of war!" "You better be biased for peace. It is a tough enough battle without worrying about being biased on such a vital issue." "Everyone must have a bias -- a personal opinion and hopefully a passionate interest. An 'unfair' bias would be editorial opinons motivated by fear, hatred, self-centred motives, and which put down other's views that might by motivated by life sustaining commitments."

How Can you Help PEACE Magazine?

Only one quarter of the respondents have given a gift subscription of PEACE. The holiday season is approaching. What an opportunity to spread the word!

·"When I dig into Peace Magazine, I'm surprised by its freshness, the variety of original source material. I think that you are doing a very good job, but need more recognition. Perhaps a more definite identity."

·"Thank you for not copyrighting.

This allows me, in good conscience, to share articles with friends in foreign countries who would not otherwise have timely access to this information. Apparently PEACE thinks peace related information istobe shared and disseminated rather than jealously guarded. More power to you."

· "I really 'enjoy' my subscription to your wonderful magazine. Perhaps enjoy is not a good word since it always presents me with troubling issues as well as sources of inspiration.) With great admiration and respect I commend the efforts of your entire staff. Thanks for keeping me in touch with the world and the torch of peace burning."

Future Directions for PEACE

·"I'd like to see more news of creative, positive changes in the world." "I like in-depth analysis which link isssues and get to root causes and 'how to' change."

·"I feel it is time for the [peace] movement to become more proactive in proposing concrete alternatives."

Darts

"There is sometimes an inordinate desire to be critical about the SovietUnion, in an apparent effort to bolster the magazine's credibility."

·"You were slow to recognize the immense changes in USSR policies and very mild toward USA atrocities."

· "I used to read PEACE to find out what the Canadian Peace Movement was involved in. I rarely see this information in the magazine now."

·"Peace Magazine too often looks at the symptoms rather than the real driving forces that keep it going and keep us soothed and placated. .

Peace Magazine Oct-Nov 1989

Peace Magazine Oct-Nov 1989, page 8. Some rights reserved.

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