Thanks Obama: Left-wing Nation Magazine Facing $1 Mil Budget Deficit

The far-left Nation magazine is facing a $1,000,000 budget shortfall. Though it attributes it to a weak market for print journalism, conservative periodicals are doing quite well. In fact, the president the Nation worked so hard to elect could spell the magazine's downfall. The irony is delicious.

The magazine's Washington Editor Chris Hayes wrote a fundraising email saying that "newspapers and magazines are having a rough time." Well, not all magazines. National Review's circulation has increased by roughly 25,000 since 2008. It would have been more accurate to say that liberal magazines are having a rough time.

It's generally accepted that magazines do well when someone of the opposite ideological makeup is in the White House. During the Bush administration, liberal magazines thrived. Since Obama was elected, they've declined while conservative ones have flourished.

Here is the full text of the letter:

Dear Nation Friend:

I've never written a fundraising letter -- and living in a city where everyone is always hitting up folks for donations, I'm more than happy to keep it that way.  I'm a journalist.  I write articles and books about politics, Washington, and the world around us. And I'm extraordinarily lucky -- I get paid to do so by The Nation. My Capitolism column about the political economy of Washington runs every other week in The Nation, and I just launched a weekly audio-cast called The Breakdown that attempts to take complex inside-the-beltway issues and make them understandable and accessible.  It's the kind of work that I became a journalist to do. 

But as you've undoubtedly heard, newspapers and magazines are having a rough time. Journalism is in trouble at the very moment when we can't afford to take our eye off what's happening in Washington and around the world.   So I've been asked by our publishing team to ask you for help by becoming one of our Nation Associates.

Although we run a tight ship, every year The Nation faces new, expensive obstacles like huge increases in postage and paper prices.  And our advertising and subscription revenues just aren't enough to sustain us.  So we rely on our Nation Associates whose donations represent more than 20% of all of our revenues.  Won't you join them?

The truth is this magazine faces a hostile environment and a million dollar deficit.  So we rely on our Nation Associates to help us close that gap.  Their donations represent more than 20% of all of our revenues.

Here's what your Nation Associates gift helps support:

$35 buys me dinner with a confidential source in New York

$75 pays for an interpreter for a reporter researching a story in Afghanistan

$150 covers an Amtrak ticket to Washington so a writer can testify before Congress

$300 buys a labor reporter's ticket to Detroit for a piece on unemployment

$500 (expenses extra) rewards a brilliant article by a young journalist on Tehran dissidents

This year, The Nation is facing a $1,000,000 deficit.  And for The Nation that's a lot of money.  Believe me, I know.  I've been working in the magazine's Washington office as Washington editor for the last three years and the pay isn't great. But there are very few media outlets that allow their writers and reporters the freedom to go beyond the headlines and take on the powers that be -- to ask inconvenient questions and pursue uncomfortable truths.  And The Nation is one of them.

Take my word.  I see the editors and publishing people in our New York office scarmbling. So I'm turning to you. I've never asked our readers for anything -- except the time it takes to read what I write for the magazine and its website.

I'm not entirely comfortable writing to you as a fundraiser.  But I also know The Nation depends on its Nation Associates to help close this gap.  We're one of the very few media outlets out there who have Nation Associates to lean on in times like these.  Won't you become one of them today?

Because people like you have supported the magazine, I've been able to do the work I enjoy for years.  I appreciate that.  Certainly, I'd rather be chasing kick-ass stories than worrying about magazine budget cuts and writing fundraising letters.  Please help us deal with this daunting deficit by becoming a Nation Associate and I'll go back to doing my day job.

And thank you!


Chris Hayes
Washington Editor, The Nation


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