This is my first weekly geeks response. Dewey, at The Hidden Side of a Leaf, comes up with a theme/question each week for book bloggers to respond to. This week the theme/question is to talk about the magazines we read.
I only read one magazine regularly and religiously: Ms. Magazine. I have no interest in pop culture magazines. On the occasions when I have read the most popular news magazines, such as Time or Newsweek, I find the articles to be seriously lacking in one way or another. They are written in the “shock you” news style, and often make big deals out of trite things, or contain a strong bias. Ms. Magazine, on the other hand, contains well-researched and well-written articles, that straightforwardly present facts and arguments. The articles are not biased in the way that Newsweek ones can be. Yes, they contain a point of view, a particular perspective, but they are honest about the fact that they are written from that perspective, while Newsweek articles might contain hidden biases. It is possible I would be interested in other alternative magazines such as Tikkun, but I haven’t felt a strong desire to try any.
Here’s my response to Dewey’s six questions:
1. Name of magazine.
2. Do you subscribe or just buy it now and then?
3. What’s your favorite regular feature in the magazine?
I really like the book reviews section; it’s a great way to get ideas of feminist-minded books to read. I also like the national and international short-takes section; I don’t stay all that caught up on news and this is a good source of news about topics that I care about.
4. What do you think your interest in this magazine says about you?
It says that I am a feminist and interested in topics affecting women.
5. How long have you been reading this magazine?
About two and a half years. I used to read it occasionally when I was in high school (my grandmother had a subscription), but I wasn’t as interested in all the political stuff then. A couple years ago I realized that it was actually a really good magazine and decided to subscribe.
6. Is there any unique or quirky aspect to the magazine that keeps you reading?
The most unique aspect is the ads – they only accept ads from organizations whose work aligns with feminism. I don’t think I would stop reading the magazine if they changed that policy, but it is really great to read a magazine where the ads can be as interesting as the articles (I have learned about non-profit organizations via their ads), and where they do not detract at all from the content. The main thing that keeps me reading is the really good writing and reporting. I wish it came more frequently that four times a year!
This question about magazines is somewhat apropos, because I have just been considering whether I would like to subscribe to another magazine, Ode. My grandmother had a copy sent to me because she thought I might be interested in it. I’m only partway through it and I haven’t decided yet if I am interested enough to subscribe. I like their tagline, “the magazine for intelligent optimists,” and I like the idea of reading about inspiring things people are doing to make the world a better place. However, I have found the articles a bit trite and consumption-oriented. They do not have the same weight and depth as articles in Ms. Magazine. Also, like many mainstream magazines, it is more difficult to distinguish ads from articles and the ads are not only for things or values I agree with. So we shall see whether I end up subscribing or not.