December 12, 2011
Left Turn Magazine
 Dear friends and allies,

We're writing you today with major news about the future of Left Turn. We have published the final issue of our print publication. This decision did not come easily, but in the end we felt we had no choice.

Like many other independent magazines and newspapers, Left Turn has struggled with continuing to publish a print magazine in the digital age. Over the past two years, we set out to make some significant changes to the magazine in the hopes of reinvigorating this project and filling some of the vacuum left by other print publications closing or moving online. We cut down the size of the magazine, moved to using a union printer, better quality paper, a glossy cover and a new design. We also revamped our website and updated it more regularly.

However, despite all these changes and improvements, we found ourselves at the end of the summer unsure of how we would pay for the next issue. While the number of subscribers and sustainers have been steady, incomes from distribution and fundraising events have declined significantly over the last two years. Moreover, the cost of printing and mailing has continued to increase.

We also faced a crisis of capacity to do the work. Left Turn has been an all-volunteer project from the beginning, and several of our long-term editors needed to step down.  

This has been a difficult decision, and it did not come without months of strategizing around ways of maintaining a print publication. We want to give special thanks to our subscribers, distributors, sustainers, and supporters who have kept this project alive for all of these years. We would not exist without you. And we would not have succeeded without the numerous writers and guest editors who have contributed to the magazine.

We are aware that we owe more than just thanks to our subscribers and sustainers. Many of you have issues remaining on your subscription. We have contacted friends and allies from various print publications who have agreed to fulfill your subscription. You will have a choice of several publications to fulfill the issues we owe you.

Please see below for more details. You can also contact us with any questions regarding this at distribution@leftturn.org.

Not the end

Although Left Turn Magazine will no longer exist as a print publication, this is not the end of Left Turn. Left Turn has always been more than just a magazine. It is a political project that emerged in the aftermath of the protests that shut down the WTO in Seattle in 1999 to provide some cohesion to the growing anti-capitalist movement and a space to address the many political issues it was facing. At the time, a print publication made the most sense.

Today we are seeing the re-emergence of that movement in the Arab spring-inspired occupations across the country. The central role the internet and social media played in this new global intifada shows how much the world has changed in just the last ten years and how important it is to have a strong web presence, particularly for the alternative media. An electronic Left Turn would not only allow us to reach more people but publish more content. This is not to say that we don't see the need for continuing to have some type of print media, especially when so many people are coming together to occupy and reclaim our public spaces. Hopefully with your help we can figure out a creative and cost effective way of doing this.

While we focus on building a more dynamic and robust web presence, we will continue featuring the news, analysis and commentary that have been the heart of Left Turn for 10 years at leftturn.org. For those who would like to see this project continue, donations are still needed. We hope that many of you will continue to stay on as sustainers or supporters, to help us in this new phase of this project.

In the meantime, we hope all of you will continue to inspire us with story ideas, contributions and writings and as always, stay in touch. We are sure we will continue to see you in the streets, struggling for the better world that so many have risen up to fight for over the past year.

Thank you so much, dear friends!

In Solidarity,

The Left Turn Collective

 
Special Note to Subscribers and Sustainers: 

Thank you so much to all of you who have supported us over the years. As mentioned above, we have arranged with several publications who are willing to fulfill your subscriptions. Below is a list of your options.

Bitch Magazine
Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture was launched in 1996 by feminists constantly on the lookout for sharp, fun, nonacademic analyses of the sexism rampant in movies, television, advertising, and more. Fifteen years later, its goals - to point out the insidious, everyday sexism of popular culture, propose alternatives, and celebrate pro-woman, pro-feminism pop products - are still as crucial as they were in 1996.

Make/shift
Make/shift magazine creates and documents contemporary feminist culture and action by publishing journalism, critical analysis, and visual and text art. Made by an editorial collective committed to antiracist, transnational, and queer perspectives, make/shift embraces the multiple and shifting identities of feminist communities. We know there's exciting work being done in various spaces and forms by people seriously and playfully resisting and creating alternatives to systematic oppression. Make/shift exists to represent, participate in, critique, provoke, and inspire more of that good work.


Middle East Report
Middle East Report provides news and perspectives about the Middle East not available from mainstream news sources. The magazine has developed a reputation for independent analysis of events and developments in the Middle East. Understanding of the Middle East in the United States and Europe is limited and plagued by stereotypes and misconceptions. MERIP successfully addresses these limitations by addressing a broad range of social, political and cultural issues, and by soliciting writings and views from authors from the Middle East not often read in the West.

Added Offer for Sustainers: 

In recognition of the ongoing financial contribution our sustainers have given, we have an additional offer. In addition to choosing one of the magazines above you also can select to receive one of the three books listed below:
 
Signal 01 (PM Press)
Signal is an ongoing book series dedicated to documenting and sharing compelling graphics, art projects, and cultural movements of international resistance and liberation struggles. Artists and cultural workers have been at the center of upheavals and revolts the world over, from the painters and poets in the Paris Commune to the poster makers and street theatre performers of the recent counter globalization movement. Signal will bring these artists and their work to a new audience, digging deep through our common history to unearth their images and stories. We have no doubt that Signal will come to serve as a unique and irreplaceable resource for activist artists and academic researchers, as well as an active forum for critique of the role of art in revolution.

Floodlines (Haymarket Books)
Floodlines is a firsthand account of community, culture, and resistance in New Orleans in the years before and after Katrina. The book weaves the interconnected stories of Mardi Gras Indians, Arab and Latino immigrants, public housing residents, gay rappers, spoken word poets, victims of police brutality, out of town volunteers, and grassroots activists.

Academic Repression: Reflections from the Academic Industrial Complex (AK Press)
Since 9/11, the Bush administration has pressured universities to hand over faculty, staff, and student work to be flagged for potential threats. Numerous books have addressed the question of academic freedom over the years; this collection asks whether the concept of academic freedom still exists at all in the American university system. It addresses not only overt attacks on critical thinking, but also-following trends unfolding for decades-engages the broad socioeconomic determinants of academic culture.  This edited anthology brings together prominent academics writing hard-hitting essays on free speech, culture wars, and academic freedom in a post-9/11 era.

All subscribers and sustainers please send your selections, as well as any questions, to distribution@leftturn.org. Because supplies are limited for some subscriptions, please also send your second choice of magazine.