Proposed postal rate increase for *some* periodicals Skwor, Jeanette 17 May 2007 14:41 UTC

I debated with myself about sending this, am thinking it is a political
thing, but am going ahead on 2 rationales:
1) the list admin can disallow it
2) you, of course, are free to vote yea or nay or not at all.

And this is pertinent to serials librarians and libraries.  In sum, here
are snippages of a quote from Andi Zeisler, who publishes a small
independent magazine, and writes with a definite slant:
Under the proposed rate structure for mailing periodicals, the biggest
publications--your Times, your Rolling Stones, your Vanity Fairs--are
granted the best prices thanks to their ability to produce better
mailing efficiencies (bundling, sorting, transport); smaller
publications that don't have the budget for such efficiences pay for the
Postal Service's work on their behalf.
>From a free-market standpoint, this isn't, on its face, unfair: since
big mag publishers use fewer Postal Service resources, they get to pay
less. But the USPS  . . . (is) a government body whose rate structure
has until now been meant to facilitate and encourage the dissemination
of information and ensure a thriving marketplace of ideas.
The new rates were not only developed with no public or congressional
input/oversight, they weren't even developed by the Postal Service
itself. Rather, the plan was brewed up by . . . Time Warner
publications, publisher of such checkout-counter heavies as People,
Fortune, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, and Sunset. The announcement was
made only weeks ago, and the short notice hasn't allowed the small
publications at risk time to do much more than mutter obscenities in the
USPS's general direction.
As the largest magazine publisher in the U.S., Time Warner shouldn't
need to look over its shoulder at the likes of a comparatively tiny
operation like The Nation; nevertheless, the policy it proposed seems
like a paranoid guarantee that it never has to. Many small magazines
simply won't be able to afford to continue publishing if their mailing
rates increase 30 percent; fewer new magazines will be able to launch
without a sizable amount of start-up capital and/or corporate backing.
And what that means is that we'll see a dwindling number of magazines
devoted to independent, noncommercial discourse --whether that discourse
is from the left or the right, about hunting or about pressing your own
Can the decision be reversed? Well, it's worth trying. Free Press
<>  is encouraging anyone who
cares about preserving media democracy and independent voices to urge
Congress to intervene, and the Postal Board of Governors to revamp the
new policy. The site provides a handy-dandy pre-written letter for the
slacktivists among us, as well as links to more information about what
the new regulations mean for your independent media.

The link to the full piece I quoted is at

There is an unbiased piece on the same topic at
The reason I am not quoting that one is because I found it difficult to

Now back to your regularly scheduled Serialist . . .

Jeanette L. Skwor
Serials Dept., Cofrin Library
University of WI-Green Bay
2420 Nicolet Drive
Green Bay, WI  54311-7003

"Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will
get you through times of no libraries."
                              Anne Herbert, The Whole Earth Catalog