Albion Monitor
Someone once said that a month on the web was like a year in real time. I'll certainly agree; the web is moving fast. When we started last summer, most web pages were crude, and often downright ugly. Now more people are using graphics and learning how to control the display, making web pages more enjoyable to view. It's like we've progressed from clunky Model-T cars of the 1920's to the sleek Hupmobiles of the 1930's. All within a few months.

This being our tenth issue, it's an anniversary of sorts. Although we haven't been producing the Albion Monitor for ten years -- although sometimes, it feels like it's been a decade -- I decided to use some of the fancy new search engines and see how other people are referring to us.

The first thing I discovered was that there doesn't seem to be much agreement on what to call the Albion Monitor. On one list we're a "webzine," but at another we're an "alternative e-zine." The Albion Monitor is an "International newspaper" on an Italian site, and curiously, part of the "Printed Media Resources" in an Australia list.

Similarly, there's a variety of ways to describe our content. In mailing list archives, we've been described as a source of information on Native American issues and other human rights, corporate welfare, cancer, and religious extremists. One nice way -- I think. At "NerdWorld," (Nerdworld?) we're a "journal of investigative journalism, news, progressive commentary, and insightful analysis." The Albion Monitor is listed under "Health and environment magazines" at one place, and as a source for news on military Intelligence and Counterintelligence on another.

One of our favorite references is from Finland:

Kalifornian pohjoisosassa kahdesti viikossa ilmestyvä Albion Monitor nä ytti vuoden 1995 syyskuun toisena pä ivä nä ilmestyneessä ensimmä isessä varsinaisessa WWW-numerossaan osoittavan merkkejä harkitusta vuorovaikutteisen moniviestinverkkojutun rakenteen suunnittelusta.
We don't have the foggiest idea what this means, but hope it means they like us; the Monitor gets a whole paragraph, while little papers like the New York Times get just passing reference. But then again, maybe they're saying we really stink.

But the citation we liked best is elegant in its simplicity: Groups Beginning with "A".

So what is this? Is it a newspaper, a journal, a magazine, e-zine, or webzine? Do we cover the environment, health, Native American issues, corporate welfare, the far right, or what?

One point we'd like to make clear: this is a newspaper, albeit sans paper. All of our reporters and feature writers are professional journalists, most of whom are award-winners. We take our craft and responsibilities seriously, just as much as the professionals who work at your daily newspaper. (Often, I think we take these responsibilities more seriously.)

But the Albion Monitor covers all those topics, and more. Why? Because the major weakness of progressives -- and these days, "progressive" means anyone to the left of Rush Limbaugh -- is that they tend to be single-issue activists. We're trying to show you connections that you don't have time to find yourself. That (for example) Mobil Oil receives preferential tax breaks worth more than $1 billion, at the same time as the corporation attacks research into alternative fuels as a "government subsidy." In the current issue and previous ones you'll find dozens of similar connections.

In short, we're trying to present a bigger picture -- one that we couldn't provide if we were just an environmental journal, or similar.

We think you'll find the Albion Monitor is unique. Nowhere else on the Internet, nowhere on the newstand, can you find a newspaper, magazine, journal, webzine, e-zine -- whatever -- that covers the world like this.

We hope this is the information you want, and we hope you will subscribe. The Albion Monitor is supported entirely by subscriptions, as I've mentioned many times in these editorials. Only with your help can we provide this service to you.

Progressives have always fought an uphill battle. Never do we have the funding, the well-staffed organizations, the political clout that monied interests have. But we do have our wits and courage of our convictions; and we hope that in these (electronic) pages you'll find the threads that weave that patchwork we see into a whole cloth.

Our next issue will appear February 16, and will be the only edition for that month.

Hope to see you then.

Jeff Elliott, Editor

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