Utne Reader is celebrating its 25th anniversary in its September-October issue with a design revamp and a new business model.
In a bold move, the digest of independent and alternative media is upping its one-year subscription rates from $19.97 to $29.95 for subscriptions paid at the time of order, and to $36 for billed subscriptions. Newsstand prices will also see a $2 increase from $4.99 to $6.99. What’s more, subscribers will now have a monthly payment option for $3.
“We’re asking those who value quality journalism to support it,” Utne‘s publisher and editorial director Bryan Welch said of the subscription increase. “We need to get out of the mindset that news and information should be free in every medium — especially among the independent media where the advertising dollar can be hard to come by.”
But Utne‘s subscribers are getting more bang for their buck. Starting with the latest issue, the magazine will be printed on higher quality, heavier stock for its cover and body. It will also be bigger — increasing its trim size to 8.5 by 10 inches, which is three quarters of an inch wider than the original size of 7.75 by 10 inches.
The magazine is also making an effort to better integrate its content on the Web while highlighting the independent pubs that it pulls its content from. Utne‘s Web site — which is updated several times a day — will now include cover art and links that correspond to the stories it features.
For the past 25 years, editors at Utne have read through thousands of independent and alternative publications, looking for the best and most interesting stories, compiling them and reprinting them. Utne Reader also presents annual Independent Press Awards, honoring excellence in independent magazines, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.