Pacific Standard Magazine Shuts Down After 10 Years
Pacific Standard covers (Photo: Facebook)
By edhat staff
Santa Barbara-based magazine, Pacific Standard, plans to shut down on Friday after 10 years of publication.
The national magazine, which focused on social and environmental justice issues using narrative journalism with peer-reviewed research, was founded in 2008 by SAGE Publications that's owned by local philanthropist Sara Miller McCune.
Editor in Chief, Nick Jackson, announced the decision on August 7 via Twitter stating, "Today is an extremely difficult day, the worst day—and I’m heart-broken and devastated. We learned this morning, without any warning, that our primary funder is cutting off all charitable giving and that our board is shutting down [Pacific Standard], effective next Friday."
The magazine's primary funder is local nonprofit the Social Justice Foundation, formerly The Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media, and Public Policy.
"I’m feeling all of the emotions about this terrible news. Anger and frustration, certainly—we were repeatedly and enthusiastically told we were over-performing and -delivering up until the very end, and that we had a long-term commitment—shock, sadness and disappointment," Jackson continued.
The four-member board of directors announced their decision to close the publication last week at their Santa Barbara headquarters stating it stemmed from SAGE Publication's decision to curb its charitable giving. Pacific Standard has 20 full-time employees, 25 writers on contract, and dozens of freelance contributors. Employees were offered severance packages, reports the Los Angeles Times.
"I’m scared, about my future and this industry, and upset that I won’t get to keep working with the 20-plus extremely talented journalists I’ve had the privilege and opportunity to hire and coach and mentor and learn from since I took on the [Editor-in-Chief] role four years ago. Hire them!" wrote Jackson on Twitter.
In a 2010 Los Angeles Times article, McCune stated she was committing approximately $2.2 million a year for five years to run Pacific Standard. The Social Justice Foundation's recent tax filings showed the magazine's operating costs were more than $3 million per year and brought in less than $200,000 on its own, reports the Los Angeles Times.
SAGE Publishing as a whole had revenues in the "$300m - $400m range" according to a 2014 report by The Bookseller.
"I’ve been here nearly 6 1/2 years now. In that time, this team has changed policy and changed minds, influenced educators and saved lives—literally. That’s not an overstatement or bloated mission speak; it’s the power of storytelling and reporting done in the public interest," Jackson wrote. "To everyone who has read or subscribed or shared, to everyone who has supported us along the way, thank you—really, genuinely, truly. Thank you. It has meant the world to us, and encouraged us to keep going when times were tough. We’ll need you again wherever we all end up."