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Editorial: IMPACT at 50
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IMPACT press at 50
It's hard to believe that this is the 50th issue of IMPACT press.
When I started the magazine in 1996, I never would have imagined it would still be alive and kicking after eight yearsand now, 50 issues.
The first issue came out in March 1996, followed by one in April and one in May. I foolishly believed that I could publish an issue each month while working a full-time job at the same time. Because of time constraints, IMPACT then became bi-monthly, with issue #4 coming out in August 1996. Going bi-monthly turned out to be a good thing, because, to this day, IMPACT just barely manages to break even as a bi-monthly publication. Coming out each month would have been an economic disaster.
Initially, IMPACT was mostly available around Florida. I wanted to increase the magazine's circulationwhich started at 8,000to expose more people to it. I reached out to IMPACT's then-small e-mail list and asked if anyone would want to distribute the magazine, voluntarily, in their town.
The response was huge. As a result, there are now 12,000 copies of each issue of IMPACT spread over 50 cities around the U.S., facilitated by a group of very cool, very supportive individuals who volunteer to get IMPACT out to the masses. Without them, most of you might never have found this copy of the magazine!
But before the magazine even gets into those distributors' hands, it is put together at my house. No, it's not run out of some fancy officejust in an extra bedroom in the house I share with my girlfriend (who is also the magazine's copy editor). That's where the pages are laid out, the advertising calls are made and the boxes are taped up to be shipped to those distributors.
Without anything to publish, though, IMPACT wouldn't be but blank pieces of newsprint. It's a privilege to have so many great writers and artists who are willing to volunteer their creative abilities to IMPACT.
So, after eight years and 50 issues, what has IMPACT done?
Well, we've covered everything from the injustice in Chiapas, Mexico to homophobia in America to art censorship. Michael Moore was interviewed in issue #18 and same-sex marriage was first discussed in issue #25, while the cover story of issue #30 questioned the existence and relevance of Jesus Christ.
It was in April 2000 that IMPACT first started covering animal rights and vegan issues. I had gone vegan in May of 1998 but it took me a while before featuring animal rights content in the magazine. Now it's a very important issue for me and one that IMPACT will continue to deal with in each issue. The first animal rights cover story (issue #32, April/May 2001) on downed animals entering our food supply, received an honorable mention from Project Censored.
More recently, IMPACT has dealt with a myriad of issues, including the separation of church and state, globalization, the war in Iraq, and the 2004 election.
So, what's to come?
Who the hell knows?! We'll continue to take on socio/political issues that aren't getting exposure in the mainstream media and we'll try to present topics that other alternative publications aren't messing with. We'll fight to get Bush out of the White House. We'll continue to educate on animal rights and veganism with the hope of getting readers to consider lifestyle changes. And, of course, IMPACT will continue to be free wherever you can find it (including on our web site: impactpress.com, where we post a portion of every issue and have archives dating back to December 1996).
So, as I say goodbye to issue #50 and start to think about #51 (the process never stops), I want to thank everyone who has ever helped with the magazine in any way and anyone who has ever bothered to pick up a copy.
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