A few days ago, I wrote about AWP’s decision to stop publishing a print version of The Writer’s Chronicle. Today I received this reply:
We are truly sorry you have concerns, and we do understand your frustration. All factors were considered as part of the decision-making process, including the cost to produce and ship The Writer’s Chronicle. We are committed to providing the best reading experience possible using the resources available to us.
All we ask is that you give the digital version of The Writer’s Chronicle a chance and explore all the features it has to offer before making a final decision to unsubscribe. Of course, if you are certain that you would no longer like to receive access to the magazine, we offer prorated refunds for subscriptions.
Thank you for your continued support.”
So to me it sounds like the decision was a financial one, not one motivated (or at least not primarily motivated) by making the magazine more accessible as AWP’s initial email suggested. But the response is vague enough that it’s hard to tell; it contains none of the “transparency” I asked for. That may be coming in another mass email to members, we’ll see. I was sincere in my reply when I said that the organization should be honest with members if it is having financial difficulties (or if it isn’t, which is hopefully the case). Members have a right to know. In general, the societal taboo surrounding talking about money because it is somehow “impolite” is a capitalist tool of oppression, so we need more honesty about money all around.