Editorial

RTH Going to Print (We Really Mean it This Time)

A new partnership with Mayday Magazine will see a proper RTH print edition.

By Ryan McGreal
Published November 23, 2006

Regular RTH readers will know that we have been chewing at the bit for some time to go to print. Toward this end, we recently introduced a print-it-yourself edition, an eight page, 8 1/2 x 11 digest that comes out nicely on your home printer and looks lovely in your local cafe.

However, we know this is an inadequate solution. It depends on readers to supply their own paper and take the time to print it off and distribute it. Also, the layout, generated by a computer program rather than a creative, talented designer, leaves something to be desired aesthetically.

Unfortunately, going to print properly is no easy task. It's time-consuming to design and lay out, frightfully expensive to print, and awkward to distribute. Since the members of RTH lack free time, money, and, well, coordination, the challenge seemed insurmountable.

I found myself thinking, "Wouldn't it be great if someone just came up to us and said, 'Give us your content and we'll take care of everything else'?" Of course, such wishful thinking is cute at best and dangerously delusional at worst. Life just doesn't work that way.

Except, that's pretty much exactly what happened.

Starting in December, right around the second anniversary of our first-ever online issue, Raise the Hammer will appear in Mayday Magazine, a monthly magazine published by the Sky Dragon Centre.

The December issue will be a two-page spread in the magazine, but future plans include publishing RTH as a separate insert inside Mayday, with its own masthead and pagination.

Mayday is already financially sustainable (i.e. ad revenue pays for layout, printing, and distribution), a remarkable feat in the short time since the magazine was launched, and Lauren Olsen, the executive editor, believes she will be able to work the same miracle with the RTH insert.

Now, this means the print edition will have some advertising, a situation we have managed to avoid online. This is a necessary evil, since the money for printing and distribution has to come from somewhere. However, the RTH website will remain ad-free, and the print edition will not include ads for anything offensive (e.g. drugs, sex, or war).

We will still publish the Raise the Hammer web edition twice monthly, and Mayday will publish the Raise the Hammer Print Edition once a month, featuring a mix of articles from our print editions and the Hammerblog.

Raise the Hammer would like to thank Lauren Olsen, Kevin McKay (director of the Sky Dragon Centre), and all the Sky Dragon staff and volunteers for such a wonderful opportunity to reach more citizens.

Sky Dragon, like Raise the Hammer, is interested in producing social change toward a more engaged, participatory, vibrant, and democratic community that lives sustainably and solves its problems through cooperation, tolerance, and incremental change toward more positive outcomes.

Sky Dragon itself is a working implementation of a non-profit organization model that is self-sustaining (i.e. not subsidized by the government) and publicly run (i.e. directly by engaged citizens rather than indirectly by the government). It has grown in a very short time by bootstrapping creatively from nothing into a multi-use downtown community centre (27 King William St, just east of James), a print magazine, and a community development foundation.

Sky Dragon is living proof that the caricatures and aspersions of Hamilton's ruling elite are false and misleading. Rather than a group of complainers and obstructionists, Sky Dragon is a collective of innovators and enablers working together to improve the community.

Raise the Hammer is honoured and inspired to cooperate with Sky Dragon in writing content for Mayday Magazine.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.

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By urban activist (anonymous) | Posted November 29, 2006 at 19:43:28

I think Skydragon has commendable goals etc., but I must say I find MayDay just too out there LEFT-wise. Are you not worried that by being in MayDay you'll alienate those that wouldn't pick up a lefty rag if they were paid to?? Wouldn't it be great if RTH could get to those other folks...not already 'the converted'??

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By adrian (registered) | Posted November 30, 2006 at 07:44:34

Hey urban activist,

I absolutely agree with you that it would be wonderful if RTH could get to those other, unconverted folks.

There seems to be few if any downsides to this deal, however. RTH will reach more readers, and its unlikely RTH will alienate the people who "wouldn't pick up a lefty rag if they were paid to" because if they're not picking up Mayday, how will they even notice?

RTH is committed to non-partisanship and will continue to be an independent voice for renewal in this city regardless of the partnerships we form with other organizations.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 30, 2006 at 10:56:18

further to that, it would be great to find a way of 'reaching the other folks' who don't get informed about these issues in the mainstream media. Obviously Mayday won't do that for us, but it's a great deal in terms of getting to print. Many folks don't own computers or intentionally avoid them. Having print issues will certainly bring new readers to RTH.

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By DC (anonymous) | Posted December 01, 2006 at 14:38:55

Where does one pick up a Mayday mag anyway?

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 05, 2006 at 16:30:09

the new Mayday is out now....you can grab it at Bread and Roses cafe on King William....RTH is in there.

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