From the Publisher
Talk to me!
by Chris Klein
ello, and Welcome.
Things finally are calming down as we complete our second issue of Earth
Times. I want to talk to you about our stories - where we get them and how
we select them - and ask for your advice.
The Earth Times will be reprinting important articles from local and national
publications (with permission, of course). We depend heavily on Carolyn
Chase, San Diego Earth Day founder and environmentalist extraordinaire,
to provide guidance on what's available. She consumes an fantastic amount
of environmental literature each month - a stack of paper about two feet
high. We'll try and pass along the prime cuts.
We also commission articles, especially for local stories.
Our cover story in this issue is a good example. We're always looking for
We may also publish unsolicited material that comes
in. I've started receiving a flood of that; nothing has yet made the cut,
ow do we select which articles to publish? For the
first issue, Carolyn and I picked 'em.
This left out just one important thing: the customer - you, dear reader.
What you wanted to read was just a guess, and is crucially important to
our success. I don't like guesswork.
fter the first issue went out, I sent a survey to 300
readers who received ET in the mail. I asked them how much they read, what
they liked, and what they wanted to see more of. Finally, I asked people
what additional articles or subjects they would like to see.
Fifteen percent of the people responded - pretty good for this kind of
survey. I learned some things about the first issue.
About one-third of the articles were almost universally
popular; plastics recycling was at the top of the list. We'll do more articles
like that. Another third had mixed reviews. We'll do more of these, too;
you can't please all of the people all of the time.
The final third ... well, I'll just be generous and
say that every article had someone that really liked it. We'll also take
a long hard look at what didn't work for most of you.
Probably the most important feedback I received was
from the comments you wrote. Twenty percent of respondents took the time
to write, in one way or another, that they wanted articles about things
they could do, personally, to help the environment. I guess I'm not surprised.
our input has already started affecting ET. First,
we killed a media interview that I already had "in the can"; few
of you liked the previous one. Second, we've added a standard sidebar, "Call
to action ... what you can do," to many of the articles. We'll try
to provide ways you can get involved and make a difference. We're also looking
at more of the "tips and hints" material many of you say you want.
We'll continue the surveys. But for the 99 percent of
you who never receive a survey - please talk to us! Read something you liked?
Read something you didn't' like? Have a great idea for a new story? Read
an article somewhere that's just too good to keep a secret?
Let us know. We're listening, and it can make a difference.
I'm committed to making the Earth Times the kind of publication you always
One final request: Please let our advertisers know
you saw their ad in ET. It takes a certain kind of courage to go with a
new publication, and getting dedicated advertisers is a tough job. Your
acknowledgment will mean a lot to them, and to us . We need your support
for our success .Thanks for your time.