Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Missed the muckraker

AK Muckraker came up to Fairbanks, briefly, for a panel on Palin sponsored by the Sociology Department, the Political Science Department, the UAF Women's Center, and the Women's Studies Program. I heard good things about it from Jamie Smith, but what was nifty was that I received an invitation from Sine Anahita and Kayt Sunwood to come meet the Raker of Muck -- and then when I came in to work today there was a message from Ms. Muckraker on my phone.

I would dearly have loved to come hang out at Gulliver's for an hour's chat, but unfortunately, the Republic could not wait any longer. The subscriptions were three weeks late, and between that and the previously promised attendance at Phil Loring's dissertation defense, Hans (Le Chauffeur) being sick, and the Lallapalooza pickups, I just could not justify going.

Sigh. Would have been good, though.

Her call and presence up here have got me thinking again about where I want to go with the Republic. It's been the ol' hobby paper/magazine for 11 years now, going on 12, and while I like what it's become, I think it could go a lot farther. However, it won't do it with me being 3/5ths time at another job. I have to devote myself full time to it. And that, of course, means it has to pay me a full-time salary. Plus pay for contributors and staff.

I'd like some feedback on this (assuming anybody's reading this these days). One idea has been the nonprofit grant-seeking type of institution, another has been community-sponsored journalism (sponsorship piece by piece). Do people want to see the Republic continue, and more as a serious journalism venture? and if so, will you put your money where your mouth is, and how?


jamie said...

Random thoughts shot from the hip:

"Go farther" in what way?

Upping the frequency of publication to an alt-weekly would mean aggressively courting more sumitters and would in turn entice more readers. Could be a great opportunity for some non-traditional voices to be heard.

But then you as a publisher know better than most the logistics of herding cats and trying to get submissions from folks on a consistent basis.

But then you'd start to shift the focus from Ester persay (you already use a lot of content by folks from "Outside" the community anyways).

Is there a comperable effort to model all this after? Any success stories out there from equivalent media?

Or are you thinking of just expanding the number of pages? Adding a modest number of comics, say, 4-6 to start would be great, in my humble opinion.

Or shifting it more on-line?

Much to mull over - more later!

Deirdre Helfferich said...

Definitely NOT upping the frequency. God, even if I worked at the job full time, I couldn't do that. Not for quite a while, and besides, I don't think it's necessary. What I mean by "going farther" is having reporters on staff, earning enough cash to pay myself a salary (which means increasing retail sales and advertising sales, or else acquiring a sugar daddy/sponsor). I would like to increase the size of the thing, make it routinely 32-44 pages, perhaps print with some color, use recycled paper (higher post-consumer content), etc.

Mudflats said...

So sorry we didn't connect. Raincheck, definitely! Best of luck with wherever the blog takes you. Sometimes you're driving and sometimes you're being driven, but it's always an adventure. :)