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Friday, August 14, 2009

An Unfortunate Trend

When Sr. Serene of damazine left me a comment to let me know that two magazines on this blog's comprehensive list of Islamic publications were no longer publishing, I thought I'd better do some housecleaning and remove any outdated information. Though Sr. Serene only mentioned two publications, I ended up removing ten and placing them in a separate "No Longer Publishing" category. I was particularly surprised about Muslim Girl and Islamica, two glossy magazines that have been sold in mainstream bookstores and had wide appeal. I am also not finished going through the links and suspect there will be a few more additions to this category by the time I am done.

Having been the managing editor of one of the magazines on the list (Our Rising Star), I can tell you that running a magazine is expensive...more expensive than one might imagine. By far, the biggest expense is printing and mailing. It can also be quite costly to have the magazine professionally designed. Many of the publications that are still printing are newspapers (the paper is cheaper) or websites (no printing costs), are printed outside the U.S. (cheaper printing costs), or have solid funding. Others do not print regularly and only print when enough funds are collected. Naturally, this makes subscribers upset and often contributes to the demise of the publication.

I always feel sad when I see an Islamic publication stop printing. Yes, it's true that there is an abundance of Islamic information on the Internet, but magazines reach different segments of the population and have special value.

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This blog is maintained by Amel Abdullah, a freelance writer, editor, and Arabic to English translator.