Wednesday, April 13, 2011

After a reflective year off, Coastlands magazine back and mission-focussed

After a year's hiatus, while editor Rachel Brighton took a sabbatical to work on her Masters degree, Coastlands: the Maritimes Policy Review, is back, with a new Spring 2011 issue. 
Patient subscribers will have their subscriptions extended accordingly, says a note from the editor.
The issue's theme is agriculture in Atlantic Canada with a cover story by Deborah Stiles and Greg Cameron detailing how small-scale farmers are being squeezed out of the food production system.
We asked Rachel what has changed, in the magazine and in her thinking, as a result of taking a year off from publishing and here's what she told us:
I spent 2010 wrestling with the question of whether the content of the magazine was worthy of the financial difficulty of publishing a very focused print magazine in a digital era. I decided it was and the Spring 2011 issue of Coastlands was printed in March.The next three issues will be published in June (Summer), September (Fall) and December (Winter) 2011.
Coastlands is the same magazine that it was before the break in publishing, but with a more mission-driven focus. At root, it asks how a concern for human dignity and social justice should inform public policy. The range of subjects covered in each issue has also been narrowed down to community economics, education, food and agriculture, health, immigration, justice and poverty. Focusing on key subjects should enrich the value of the magazine for readers, by providing greater continuity and depth and expert insight from contributors.
The only other change, apart from using more photography inside the magazine, is the decision to include religious perspectives in the editorial mix. This reflects the fruits of my thinking while I have been on ‘sabbatical’ for the past year and is a natural progression for the magazine as it engages more deeply with the question of how human dignity and social justice should inform public policy. I think the best way that Coastlands can provide a critical perspective is by drawing insight from the widest possible circles, including the civil and religious sector, academia, government, business and the arts. In this way, Coastlands can serve as a compendium of current ideas to inform and inspire readers in the Maritimes and beyond.
On the marketing front, Coastlands is being sold through more niche retailers that cater to customers with a concern for sustainably sourced products, whether that’s health food or boutique gifts, and more libraries are including it in their collections. These partnerships are helping to establish the core of repeat customers and subscribers, which bodes well for the future.
(An individual sub is $40 plus applicable taxes or $10 an issue. The magazine is beautifully printed by Gaspereau Press.)

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