In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, subscriptions to mainstream newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post, as well as left wing publications like Mother Jones and The Nation, have surged.
This is a good development: all different kinds of media needs our dollars and our eyeballs. These calls to subscribe been some pushback because segments of political coverage at more mainstream publications has been deeply flawed.
Yet no media entity is perfect, and we need to continue to have a robust ecosystem in the shrinking media: big publications with the resources to do real investigations, yes, and also independent media that’s not beholden to corporate structures, and individual bloggers and writers who have the freedom to move nimbly. We also need local outlets which can trace corruption down to its effects on neighborhoods, and small magazines that hone new voices.
With all that in mind, here’s a selection of publications to honor with your donations and subscriptions both for the holidays — a magazine is a nice gift! — and for the beginning of the resistance. Beyond this introductory list, consider subscribing to your local newspaper (or any local newspaper), or the literary or political journal of a nearby campus. From young journalists figuring out how to investigate power, to dissident poetry, your support will give someone’s metaphorical pen a little more freedom to fly across the page.
The Boston Review
A literary magazine that publishes gorgeous fiction and poetry and big, thoughtful pieces on politics and social issues from a progressive lens. — SS
Read this first: “Reading Yeats in the Age of Trump”
The original mainstream feminist magazine will be at the vanguard of reporting on reproductive rights, as well as labor struggles that affect women, family leave and, umm, sexism in politics which may be an issue again for some reason. — SS
Read this first: “The Dream Will Never Die”
This excellent leftist quarterly has been around since 1988 — it was founded by Thomas Frank, and is published by a non-profit foundation. It’s home to erudite essays, cultural criticism, and original art. Its print edition is well worth subscribing to, and the website publishes new content, as they put it, “every day of the cursed working week.” — TH
Read this first: “What’s the Point If We Can’t Have Fun?”
A wonderful daily site devoted to racial justice that spans arts and culture as well as politics. — SS
Read this first: “While There Is Despair, I Am Not Hopeless”
Founded in 2013, this Dutch outlet is a fascinating and hugely successful exercise in crowdfunding journalism. Much of its output is still in Dutch, but it’s worth reading and supporting, largely because of the presence of the wonderful Sarah Kendzior as its US correspondent. — TH
In These Times
More Midwestern and more labor-focused than similar lefty publications, In These Times publishes important voices and is located in the part of America whose soul remains heavily contested. — SS
Unabashedly leftist — it describes itself as “a leading voice of the American left,” and not without reason — Jacobin is an excellent place to read intelligent, socialist-leaning perspectives on contemporary American society. Also, it publishes political writing by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, which is many kinds of awesome. — TH
Read this first: “College Athletes of the World, Unite”
If you want to get super-extra Lefty and also highbrow, this is the publication for you. It’s beautifully laid out, a bit contrarian, and feminist to boot. — SS
Read this first: “A Call for Sanctuary”
And finally: an obvious choice, perhaps, but despite its occasional stumbles, the venerable Mother Jones remains a home for some of America’s best investigative writing — and in the Trump dystopia, fearless investigative journalism is something we’re going to need. A lot. — TH