SINCE THE Cold War ended, our subscriptions have been dropping. We still enjoy working together; we are not bankrupt; and our readers still send appreciative notes, so we are not desperate.
Nevertheless, it is time to take stock. How well is PEACE Magazine serving the cause of peace? We want to hear your views. Here are our own.
Several peace groups produce publications resembling ours. However, each of them addresses a narrower range of topics, or a particular membership, or an audience of experts. Researchers have found that peace activists most often recommend our magazine as the most useful source of its kind in Canada. Unfortunately, this admiration does not translate automatically into sales. We are up against an inherited capitalist assumption-that a magazine is a consumer item which individuals buy only if they want to read it personally. Although PEACE is designed to provide resource materials for peace groups that disseminate information, our circulation is not considered to be any business of theirs. We wish groups considered the magazine as their own. We could provide a spectacularly good magazine if each peace group used it as its own publication.
In content and style, does the magazine produce information and analyses of value In handling current world problems? let us know what you read and what you skip. Shall we publish more humor? More about peace movements in the Third World? More about the United Nations? Profiles of activists? Shorter or longer pieces? Cartoons? Recipes?
Can we collaborate with your group? Can we publicize ongoing challenges and solutions among busy, concerned Canadians?
We're discussing new ways of cooperating with peace organizations. If you have ideas along these lines, we want to hear from you. Here is one way of reaching out. You may have a waiting room or a lounge where your coworkers take their breaks and read magazines. If so, and you already subscribe to PEACE, tell us and we'll send two additional copies of each issue of PEACE for you to put in these places. You can perform this public service with little effort and at our expense, not yours.
If you think it is worthwhile keeping PEACE going, can you please volunteer an hour or more each month?
Jean Smith, who has unstintingly managed our office for six years, cannot do so in the new year. We need a skilled part-time office manager, pronto. Metta Spencer is supposed to be writing a book and, if released from more magazine duties, promises to do so. We would love to pay our excellent managing editor, Janet Creery, but our funds will run out before her enthusiasm does. We must raise additional money for her salary or, failing that, find a volunteer to design and produce pages, edit, and chase photographs and stories. The managing editorship requires 20 hours a week, tenacity of character, and considerable skill and background-plus the help of new volunteers with the production work. We are choosy about inviting new members onto the editorial board -but we have room for two more activists who are good writers with a gift for punctuation.
Several recurring tasks need to be done regularly. We need a volunteer auditor about once a year; a volunteer to phone for Peace Calendar listings; another to word process articles and return them via modem. (If you're good at making pages too, you can mail the disks back to us.) We need volunteers to sell advertising or subscriptions by phone from their home phones. (Even one hour per month would help, if you don't need much supervision.) We need a volunteer to sort the incoming letters and publications in our office. We need a volunteer to manage displays for public gatherings-choosing the best issues, marking them, and arranging for delivery and staffing of the table.
If you see a useful future for PEACE, please join us. It's an opportunity to serve a cause that you believe in, and to work with a caring group of warm, interesting, intelligent, and thoroughly nice friends.
To volunteer, please call or visit our business office at 736 Bathurst Street, Toronto M55 2R4. Phone 533-7581. Or to volunteer for an editorial job or to do word processing and/or making pages on a Macintosh, call Janet at 789-2294 or leave a message on the machine there. Thanks! E