Sep 10, 2008


The Hudson Valley has a big glossy mag called Chronogram that features endless pages of advertising, with some local art squeezed in. There are occasionally interesting articles, too, about solar diy workshops or a C.S.A. There is one feature that is consistently worthwhile. It's called While You Were Sleeping, and synthesizes important news nuggets that were either buried in the back pages of the newspapers, not reported in a clear way, or otherwise not given the attention they deserve.

Last month Amy Lubinski included some statistics about refugees, staggering numbers about how many people have fled their homes because of imminent danger. The numbers of refugees have grown exponentially in the last ten years. And the part I didn't know: The vast majority of refugees in the world today are a direct result of the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

We think of Burma, Darfur, Palestine: but this is our doing.

While the newspapers are worrying over the housing market, while I'm fretting over what my heating bills will look like for the coming winter, we should really be concerned with those who have no chance of saving their homes, towns, communities, and cultures. They may very well not even escape with their lives. It really puts my concept of "home" and the accompanying oil bill into perspective.


Jason Charles Stern said...

Thanks for your nice comments about Chronogram, and WYWS. Just a note about being filled with ads-- we consistently maintain a stable ad/edit ratio of 50/50, which is low for the industry (most national magazines are 60/40 ads/edit). Though there seems to be a lot of advertising, it is barely enough to sustain the publication which has all original content by local writers and artists, and to distribute 25 thousand copies to the community each month.
All best,
Jason Stern
Chronogram publisher

abovegroundpool said...

Thanks for chiming in, Jason. I did notice that after the recent furor over your American Spirit cigarette ads, you decided to refrain from selling any advertising to industries that are hurting people. And I do respect that. It's not common for a magazine claiming ethics to turn down advertising revenue (i.e. Hummer ads in Dwell).