Money is power.
And it’s a shame when quallity journalism is shuttered because it doens’t meet the party lines.
So it’s even worse when the two collide and money is pulled form innovative projects such as New Voices magazine, published by the Jewish Student Press Serivce, recent selectee of the highly-competitive Slingshot award.
Check the article about New Voices’ funding woes in today’s Forward which stems from a conservative funder who took issue with the open freedom of writers to plumb the controversial depths of real Israeli life.
Slamming the reciever down when the voices of young people rings is a great way to (a) piss off the caller and (b) to lose the very involvement and interest in community of those on whom the greater community spending millions on “continuity” efforts. It’s a great chance for us to send in letters about why New Voices is a good thing, not a boring/anti-Semitic thing, and deserves institutional support.
In the words of one of New Voices’ writers:
The naked fact is that New Voices has gotten me interested in Israel and is responsible for perhaps a third or a half of what I currently know about Jewish traditions and history and current events (sad but true). I just sent in a letter to [email protected]. I think somebody else should write one that says, in [New Voices’ editor] Ilana’s words, “why it’s important that NV’s material gets out there: that the material the J community makes available to J college students is so one-sided in support of Israel that they are ill-equipped to engage in a substantive discussion and debate with more critical peers.”
Here is a sample letter to use:
To the Editor:
I was distressed to read in this week’s Forward about the Solelim Fund’s decision to cut funding for New Voices magazine (“Student Magazine’s Funding Cut,” October 20, 2006).
New Voices is one of the great magazines for it’s Jewish student life and Middle East coverage, distinguished by the quality of its writing and its wide editorial range. Few magazines available in this country, let alone on college campuses, offer coverage as thoughtful and engaged as New Voices, which publishes first-hand reports from locations throughout the world and campuses across the country. With its small staff and shoestring budget, it manages to achieve what no glossy literature published by an advocacy organization can do: it engages the interest of an increasingly diverse and geographically scattered generation of Jews and their peers. In that sense, it does more to strengthen our Jewish identity and interest in Israel than a million Birthright trips ever could.
The Solelim Fund’s decision to cut funding for the magazine and compromise its editorial standards is regrettable, and I hope it will reconsider. Failing that, I hope other Jewish organizations will step forward to allow New Voices to continue promoting awareness of the Middle East and engaging young Jews in the challenges facing their community.
[Your name here]