Enter Stage Gabbing
Selling out for the man
By Steven Martinovich
(March 6, 2000) I had an interesting question the other day. Now that Enter Stage Right and ESR's Conservative Site of the Day is accepting advertising from other web sites like Go Vote and companies like Microsoft, will ESR be under pressure to modify its positions or completely excise content which may be offensive to readers or advertisers? It's a good question and one that deserves a full and complete answer.
ESR is firmly and completely under the control of one person and one person alone, editor in chief Steven Martinovich, the same person who wrote this editorial.
Running a web site isn't easy. While we admittedly could have used a free hosting service and relied on shareware or freeware tools to produce ESR, a professional effort demands professional tools. High-end software is hideously expensive -- I work as a journalist in real life, not a stockbroker -- but it it's worth the money. Space at our service provider costs money and will cost more in the future as we are planning a move to a new provider who will make available much more space and many tools which will allow this little effort to continue growing -- at more cost of course.
And if it isn't money, it's time. ESR is published weekly which means there isn't time to dawdle. It consumes a fair portion of my already limited time -- along with being a journalist, I am also a freelance writer -- to publish something that I think you will enjoy. That means combing through hundreds of e-mails every week, many submissions which need to be vetted then edited if selected for publication, laying out articles, working out technical issues for new features, researching new technology for both front- and back-end features, and finally constant experimentation to make sure it all works. That doesn't include the constant work I do to promote ESR -- without any real ad budget.
Despite the need for revenue and time to be able to grow ESR so that it can assume a level I'd be proud of, at no time will anyone dictate or determine what content will appear on the pages of this magazine. Although this is my magazine, grown out of a column I started writing while I was in university in the early 1990s, it is yours as well. ESR's submissions, to quote writer Erik Jay, come from a mix of the average person to the recognized expert. What ESR is, to a large part, comes from what you decide it will be. While I exercise ultimate editorial control, the most important constituency I serve is you.
That means advertisers, while necessary now, are not as important as the relationship I hope I have formed with you. Without your trust that what we do here is free from the bias of others, ESR is frankly not worth the time and money it consumes. Unless it represents and mirrors the diverse audience that ESR is patronized by, the magazine merely turns into the equivalent of those advertising sections in newspapers and magazines that resemble the editorial sections so much that they are essentially inseparable.
So will we change as to not anger an advertiser? Maybe not publish something because a reader may be upset?
Thanks for reading,
ESR awarded the RightSite Award
On February 21, Enter Stage Right was presented the RightSite award for March 2000 by "What Next? The Internet Journal of Contentious Persiflage" which is published by Erik Jay who has appeared in this magazine a number of times.
"This is an easy one to like," wrote Jay in a press release. "ESR succeeds in weaving all the threads of anti-statist thought into one grand and glorious tapestry that is both fun and intriguing to behold."
"ESR has grown tremendously in scope, influence, and appeal in the last several years. Publisher-editor Martinovich has assembled a talented crew of professional and 'just folks' contributors, who help Martinovich keep the political focus of the site from becoming dreary or monotonous," he wrote.
Thank you Erik for the award and the incredibly kind words. Very much appreciated!
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