New Internationalist Issue 278
The material that follows has been provided by New Internationalist
From this month's editor
One of the great rewards of working here at the New Internationalist is our editorial freedom. As an editor, once you've plumped for a particular subject, you can pretty much go for it. There are few jobs in the media that offer this latitude. It's a challenge but also a real privilege to be able to comb through the literature, talk to those more knowledgeable than yourself and finally come to the conclusion that, yes, you're actually beginning to make some sense out of what at first appeared to be an almost impossibly complex subject.
Mind you it's not always clear sailing: simply carving out the time to research and read can be a battle. Running a publishing co-operative, as we do, means editors are often pulled in four directions at the same time. Unlike the mainstream media, all of us have to wear several hats at once and I'd be the first to admit that some of them don't fit that well.
Still, it's the 'intellectual buzz' that keeps us going. But once you've absorbed all the facts and arguments and come up with some kind of consistent analysis you're left with trying to make the magazine work in journalistic terms. And that's another story.
It helps to put ourselves in your shoes. Because we editors actually start from pretty much the same position as our readers - loaded with our own quirky baggage of bias, scepticism and curiosity. That understanding is really the foundation for building a successful magazine 'on-the-page'.
Take this issue on 'green economics'.
When I first I read about 'appropriated carrying capacity', 'biophysical limits to growth' and the tragic, perhaps irreversible destruction of the earth's functioning ecosystems, I confess to feeling a tinge of despair. Not unlike some readers, who tell us that the more they know about the world's problems the more depressed they feel.
But as I ploughed on and felt the energy and commitment of thousands of people attempting to define an alternative economic future, that despair faded. I began to realize that it's impossible to come up with a solution until you fully understand the problem.
So in this issue I've attempted to do both - to give a clear sense of the down-side but also to point to the green path beyond.
Because the path is there, though many more of us are needed to help build it. As an old Zen saying would have it, there's lots more work to do: 'After ecstasy, the laundry.'
for the New Internationalist Co-operative
©Copyright: New Internationalist 1996
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