Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Save Small and Independent Publishers

    Postal regulators have accepted a proposal from media giant Time Warner that would stifle small and independent publishers in America. The plan unfairly burdens smaller publishers with higher postage rates while locking in special privileges for bigger media companies.

    In establishing the U.S. postal system, the nation's founders wanted to ensure that a diversity of viewpoints were available to "the whole mass of the people." Time Warner's rate increase reverses this egalitarian ideal and threatens the marketplace of ideas on which our democracy depends.

    It's time stand up for independent media. Demand that Congress step in to stop the unfair rate hikes.
Click on the link below to alert Congress and put the Postal Board of Governors on notice.

Stamp Out the Rate Hike: Stop the Post Office

[UDPATE]: Commenter Detcord asks a reasonable question, "Unless they're only selecting liberal media, why is this an issue?" There was an editorial in yesterday's Boston Globe on this very subject, and I've changed the stamp above to more closely reflect my own views. It's more an issue of small, independent magazines (such as American Prospect and The Nation; though I'm quite sure there are equivalent conservative publications that would feel the impact as well) vs. big corporate entities. Time Warner devised the original plan. I see this as Bush's latest foray into public mind control, similar to his earlier efforts to gut PBS.
    ...More troubling is the fact that the Postal Service itself proposed a different plan that would have spread the increases more evenly, so that small publications would have paid less. But the service's Board of Governors, appointed by the president, opted to go with a modification of the Time Warner plan...

    ...Now, of course, there's the Internet, which makes publishing seem easy and cheap. But as The Nation's president, Teresa Stack, says, mailing out copies to paying subscribers is still largely how small magazines make money. Web content is often an extra that doesn't generate income. Without income these publications can't survive, and the public loses out when those voices are silenced.
That sums it up pretty well for me.

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