The media landscape looks like a hurricane ran through it. Major glossies like Seventeen, Glamour, Nylon, Teen Vogue, beach house porn Coastal Living, Mad magazine, and Cooking Light all stopped publishing print versions of their magazines. Even ESPN the Magazine will no longer be a magazine. And the digital world is just as wild. Rookie closed, Pacific Standard print and digital shut down out of the blue, ThinkProgress is over, and Univision sold off Gizmodo Media Group (née Gawker). Just this week Vox bought New York magazine’s publisher. It’s a rough world for even the glossiest of glossies and an even harder one for independent publishers trying to elbow their way through the crowd.
Now one magazine is fighting for its survival—and it really should survive. Bitch magazine, which was established in 1996 as a “feminist response to pop culture,” is on life support. On September 16 the magazine put out a cry for help, saying it would not be able to keep printing its riotous, insightful, ambitious magazine if it can’t raise $150,000 and raise it really quickly. In fact, today is the last day to help.
True to form, Bitch is not going out without a fight, fists raised, and voices loud. It is hustling hard on social media to spread the word that it is drowning and, hopefully, this signal boost will help keep it afloat. And it deserves to be afloat. In a world filled with wage gaps, abortion bans, Brock Turners and the judges who let them off easy, gender inequity, climate change, presidents like this, sexism in the workplace and the world, and a gender crisis in media, we need loud, proud feminist voices. Plus in a world where Theranos can earn a $9 billion valuation for an untested, unproven product, it should be easy for a magazine with a proven formula and a devoted fan base to raise $150,000.
Update Saturday, 8:55 a.m.:
In an email to Fast Company late Friday, Bitch Media’s executive director, KaeLyn Rich, said the organization was about $22,000 short of its $150,000 goal, with six hours to go, and optimistic that it would reach the threshold. If the goal is met, she said Bitch Media hopes to continue publishing the magazine on a quarterly schedule.
“We learned years ago that we have to raise funds in many ways as a nonprofit, not just through the magazine,” she wrote. “We aren’t trying to make the magazine itself profitable. That was never the goal and that’s just not how print media works any more. We will make sure that we can print Bitch magazine because it’s deeply meaningful to our readers, to feminist movements, and because it’s at the heart of who we are.”
This year alone we've already seen 18 outlets shutter their print magazines or disappeared entirely. We're in the midst of a print crisis, and this time we're not sure Bitch will make it out unscathed.
— BitchMedia (@BitchMedia) September 16, 2019
We've never had investors. We've never had executives. We've never had venture capital. What we have always had is community who value independent media and understand why it's necessary. pic.twitter.com/axLUIwpwWx
— andi zeisler (@andizeisler) September 27, 2019