It's Not Easy Being Green
Publishing & Production Executive asked Doug Moss, publisher of E/The Environmental Magazine, to discuss his publication's commitment to the environment, then put him on the spot to see if he carries out that commitment in regard to E's production workflow. Moss, who oversees editorial and production planning for the Norwalk, CT-based publication, which publishes six times annually for 56,000 readers, passed the test with flying colors.
Publishing & Production Executive: What's the story behind E?
Doug Moss: I founded E with Deborah Kamlani, my wife, inspired by the Greenhouse Summer of 1988, which saw hotter temperatures than normal (and a lot of mainstream media discussions about global warming), and by stories then of medical waste washing up on New Jersey shores. Deb was pregnant with our first child, which increased our concern with environmental issues. By the time the Exxon Valdez spilled its cargo into Prince William Sound in Alaska in April of 1989, we were well underway with plans to launch E. We got a big boost by an overall growing environmental awareness and by the then-upcoming 20th anniversary celebration of Earth Day in March 1990. Preliminary networking with the environmental advocacy community indicated strong support for the idea of an independent, newsstand-quality environmental magazine. We launched in December 1989 with a January 1990 cover date.
PPE: What is the magazine's mission statement?
DM: Our mission is to provide information, news, resources and commentary on environmental issues—for the benefit of the uninitiated, but also in sufficient depth to appeal to the dedicated environmentalist—to inform and inspire people so that they will either get involved politically to advance environmental awareness, or at least look at how they can take steps in their own personal lives to live more "sustainably."
PPE: Who are your readers?
DM: Our readers, for the most part, are very interested in the environment and use E to shore up their knowledge and commitment, but also to learn ways to modify their lifestyles. As such, we have not only features and news items about big, overarching topics like global warming, ocean pollution and population impacts, but also a Green Living section which addresses the more personal side of being environmental. We also syndicate a great deal of our articles to mainstream media, via The New York Times and Los Angeles Times syndicates and Alternet, so via this we reach the maintream readers out there who are not reading E. This is also part of the mission, why we are nonprofit and why foundations support our work with grants.