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Saturday, April 21, 2007

WRMEA and Others in Danger

April 19, 2007
Contact: Matt Horton (202) 939-6050 x103
The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and Other Magazines Are in Danger
Time Warner, the country’s largest magazine publisher and news media, has hatched a plan that will jeopardize our rights to freedom of speech.
In addition to buying out more TV, radio and newspaper companies, Time Warner has cooked up a scheme to use the U.S. Postal service to increase dramatically the mailing costs of smaller magazines like the Washington Report. Under the Post Office plan, scheduled to take effect July 15, smaller periodicals will be hit with a much larger increase—as much as 30 percent!—than will large-circulation magazines. This draconian increase could prove fatal to many small periodicals which, like ours, struggle to meet printing and production costs.
The Time Warner monopoly is growing systematically and rapidly. (For a list of its magazines, entertainment and online services, see < /timewarner.asp>). Its latest proposal threatens to silence not only sources of unreported news and alternative views, but Americans’ cherished freedoms of choice, free press and free speech.
To stop this latest attack on these freedoms, individuals and organizations are encouraged to visit and sign the letter to the Postal Board protesting the new rate system and demanding a congressional hearing before any radical changes are made. The deadline for comments is April 23.
If concerned Americans speak up, we can win this fight, and small magazines like ours will be able to continue to tell us the truth about events at home and abroad. The alternative is that Time Warner will be able to withhold more truth from the public and further erode Americans’ access to information.
Those interested in learning more about the proposed increase may want to read Robert McChesney’s well-written article in the Baltimore Chronicle: /2007/041707McChesney.shtml.
Those with Internet access currently are able to visit such free Web sites as Truthout, CounterPunch, Common Dreams,, Electronic Intifada, DahrjamilIraq and for information not available in Time Warner magazines, on broadcast TV, or in mainstream newspapers. Without print publications like the Washington Report and other magazines and newspapers which pay journalists, however, there will be fewer professional journalists who can afford to report non-mainstream stories. As McChesney writes, “Without these print publications, there would be a lot less material for all of us to read, and some of our most important reporters and thinkers wouldn’t get paid to write.”
Please pass along this information quickly—before the April 23 deadline.

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