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Plenty magazine folds

By Joe Romm

"Plenty magazine folds"

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The January 8 twitter cut to the chase, as tweets do:

Plenty magazine folded, leaving the US without a true environmental magazine. thought bad economy was gonna spur gree n jobs not kill them.

The web is not friendly to newspapers and magazines, even a good one like Plenty in an area of growing interest. Folio mag reported on the 12th:

Despite a last-ditch effort to save its Web site, both the print and online editions of the magazine are being discontinued, the magazine’s publisher, Mark Spellun, said Monday.

This is not a good media trend:

In December, National Geographic shuttered the print edition of its Green Guide–which the National Geographic Society acquired in 2007 and relaunched as a general consumer quarterly–but kept its web site.

I have reported on how big media is also walking away from this area (see CNN fires staff covering science and environment, hires psychic to cover climate change and NBC nixes TV’s only global climate change show during “Green Week”).

There are a few bright spots — THE GREEN from Sundance, of course — along with the new MNN and the NY Times (which will be subjects of later posts).

Still, Plenty was a good magazine, and I’m sorry to see it go.

Posts citing Plenty magazine:

‹ The Green Home Huddler wants interview questions for me

Antarctica has warmed significantly over past 50 years, revisited ›

10 Responses to Plenty magazine folds

  1. drew says:

    this is not a good trend indeed. but there are other types of media that are trying to find some traction. YERT, Your Environmental Road Trip, is doing everything it can to edit and release its video content.

    These guys did an amazing job discovering and documenting people in all 50 states that are making a difference for the green movement.

  2. ShellyT says:

    Why did I not even know the magazine Plenty existed. Environmental websites have to do a better job of advertising magazines and websites like that — for free. I keep up on environmental websites and I have never heard of Plenty. How many other potential subscribers never heard of it? If it’s a good magazine or website, advertise it for free so we don’t lose any more of these before they even become better known! I get emails all the time for other magazines that aren’t very good. I wonder why they didn’t at least send out mass emails before going under. What a shame.

    Please everyone — do a better job of writing about the good websites and magazines out there. I’m sure I’ve only heard of a small percentage of them myself.

  3. Brewster says:

    Never heard of it either…

  4. Will Koroluk says:

    Ad my name, along with Brewster and ShelleyT, to the list of people who never heard of Plenty. I’m in Canada, of course, and perhaps Plenty didn’t circulate up here. But Joe, if you know of other print publications that do a good job of environmental coverage, perhaps you could tip us off. I know a lot of people my own age or older, who either have no access to the Web, or are not at ease with the Internet.
    Hey! Us old folks want to be kept up to date, too!

  5. As a freelance environmental journalist for 15 yrs I have seen many good enviro publications come and go….but never so many going as now. And this is when there is great environmental awareness… People say to me: “you must be really busy these days”. Nope. Tons of important stories to tell. No place to tell them. (except on an unpaid blog)

  6. Bob Wallace says:

    Will, perhaps you’re pretty close to “my age or older” – mid 60s. Every time I look at a newspaper (which is seldom) I see that we are thinning our ranks at a steady pace.

    People who aren’t computer literate are decreasing and with them go newspapers and magazines.

    BTW, all the people whom I know who are 75 or less regularly use computers. The people whom I know that avoid learning how are mainly in their 80s and over.

    For me, magazines have become largely a thing of the past. I used to subscribe to a minimum of a dozen different magazines covering a wide range of topics. Over time I began to realize that when a new issue hit the mailbox it was largely full of information that I already knew. It just made no sense to spend money to read old news.

    Now, I don’t think the web is “all the way there”. I don’t think we get the in depth analysis that the best magazines bring us. But as the best investigators and writers move to the web and the financial model sorts its self out this should change.

    Affordable “Kindles” – easy to hold, portable, easy to read text friendly devices are another part of the replacement package. Even the computer-clumsy will be able to pick one up, push an ‘on’ button, and make some simple button pushes to find the content that they were used to getting from paper and ink.

  7. Ronald says:

    Never heard of Plenty or seen it in any Magazine rack ever and I check every magazine in my interests at Barnes and Noble and Borders.

    Earth 3.0 put out by Scientific American is pretty good.

    But there are alot of good websites, sometimes it’s hard to pay for something as long as I can get it for free (the same thing a girlfriend of mine told me her Dad told her, which was actually mostly true.)

  8. B says:

    I hate to say it, but…good riddance. Plenty was a very poorly run magazine that cared more about publishing eco-fluff than actual informative journalism. If they’d treated their writers better (including myself, I know of at least 4 others who had contracts with them and were terribly dissatisfied with the editorial experience–waiting 9 months to a year for payment was not uncommon) and devoted themselves to strong reporting on important subjects, I think they could’ve provided a decent service. Yes, I am a disgruntled writer, but I don’t know of anyone in the environmental community (journalist or not) who found the magazine to be a good resource.

  9. Chip Blake says:

    I have to take exception to the idea that there are now no truly environmental magazines — there are several, one of them being Orion (of which I am editor). http://www.orionmagazine.org

    Publishing-wise, it’s a little frightening to see “big” magazines like Plenty go out of business, but I would agree with the writer who believed that Plenty lacked substance. And maybe that was the problem at Plenty. Environmental writing needs to address the big, long-term, serious picture — not promote the idea that we are going to be able to buy our way out of the environmental crisis.

  10. tiffany says:

    does anyone know – is a feb/march issue being released?