The state we’re in
A Notice To Readers
SQUALL is taking a two issue break. And you, the reader / subscriber, will probably want to know why. So here it is inna nutshell...
Squall 14, Autumn 1996, pg. 12.
Over the last four years Squall has been a burgeoning project. Run entirely on a voluntary basis, the magazine has gone from an A5 wobbly photocopy called issue one, to the 72-page tabloid printed publication you are reading now.
It has been of primary concern to Squall that, despite being a voluntary 'underground' magazine with very limited resources, the accuracy of its research should combine with a quality of writing, observation and presentation second to none.
The ability to fulfil this aspiration has taken two scantily available resources - money and effort.
It may come as a surprise to many that Squall magazine is published by a posse of core grafters numbering just five.
It may also come as a surprise that all five are volunteers. And that the magazine sells out on every issue, prints a thousand more each time, just about breaks even but is almost permanantly in a state of debt; both financial and oxygen.
It may also come as some surprise that on top of producing four magazines a year, Squall manages to find (or pay back) the in excess of £16,000 sum it takes to run and produce Squall for a year.
The effort behind the magazine - not just from the core grafters, but from a myriad of peripheral helpers - is immense.
The feedback we receive puts a persuasive case that the magazine has become a cultural necessity as well as a good read. The fact that the magazine sells out, even though we have so little time or money to spend on 'marketing' or 'advertising', lets us know it has a place and that its potential is greater than we have yet fulfilled.
However, five core-grafters cannot fill anymore than they have already. Squall magazine now deserves attention.
It has thus been decided that in a six month break, two processes will be followed through.
Firstly, a full volunteer staff is to be assembled to run the magazine. Each with only a small number of defined roles, rather than the multistorey car park of duties currently taken on by each of the Squall posse.
Secondly, a series of benefit events, fundraising initiatives and yes, Squall merchandising onna conscious t-shirt tip, will take place over this six month period. This will build up a head of money with which to fire Squall into its new form.
Next May, Squall will be relaunched with a bang, a party, a sorted staff and money to run with. It will be carrying advertising, although rest assured not for multinationals or culture hijackers. It will be even more culturally connected than it is at present with a wider team of writers, photographers and designers. Less entrenched in its struggle to exist, the quality and accessibility of the contents and presentation will provide a more entertaining read whilst still maintaining its substance.
We certainly welcome any comments you have in the meantime on what the magazine has meant to you so far and how you'd like to see it improved.
Meanwhile, for updates on news and events in the interim, keep checking our website. The Squall telephone, e-mail, address and office will remain open throughout this period. All subscriptions will be honoured.
Respect to the readers -
The metamorphosing Squall posse.
P.S. There are a number of publications which SQUALL recommends by way of keeping up with the news: Frontline, Festival Eye, advance party 'Sound advice', McLibel trial News, Undercurrents, SchNEWS, Earth First Journal (International), Earth First Action Update, Earth First - Do or Die, Greenline, HHH Video Mag, Friends & Families of Travellers newsletter, The Land Is Ours Newsletter, FIN, Conviction, Peace News, The Law - (produced by radical law students), Wildlife Guardian, The prisoner - (Dance culture/Politics), Dream Creation - (Dance culture/politics). See contacts.