by Carole Trone
Carole Trone, new volunteer Business Development coordinator for Magazine Literacy writes: I’m thrilled that I’ve been invited to participate in this project. I like history, so this post shares some of that.
Historians tell us that America started as one of the most literate countries in the world. Puritans needed to read the Bible, merchants needed to build commerce in young and growing cities. This is important, because the rallying cry for revolution spread through speeches but perhaps more broadly through flyers and pamphlets. They were relatively quick and inexpensive to produce, short, and easy to pass around. Sure, we know that the Founding Fathers valued their books and their philosophers, but pamphlets were timely and accessible. Perhaps more importantly, they shared news about what was happening and what was possible.
To me, this means that the link between literacy, periodicals and new ideas goes way back in America. Connecting new ideas or bold proposals to anybody and everybody who can read about them is at the heart of democracy. With the exchange of ideas comes new ideas—inspiration about what might be possible.
Magazines can do this. Magazines can popularize ideas, give advice, summarize current events. Magazines can cover a little of everything or a probe a very specialized topic. Magazines can inform the scholarly and delight the toddler. Magazines can link the visual with the verbal, engaging readers more powerfully than words alone. Magazines are portable, affordable, and inviting. For all the volumes of books and millions of webpages out there, only a magazine is available to just about everyone.
This is the inspiration behind MagazineLiteracy.org and all the volunteers who make it happen. Keep reading our blog for more examples of how it works.