When I am out selling Green Left Weekly on the streets, I am often asked: “Where does the money go?” I have to tell people that it just goes to producing the next issue of the paper. The cover price is not nearly enough to make such a profit that we would have to decide what to do with it.
In fact, GLW would never have survived 25 years without huge ongoing efforts in appealing for donations and organising fundraisers to raise the additional money needed over what we get through sales and subscriptions.
The corporate newspapers get most of their revenue from advertising rather than sales and subscriptions. But our advertisements generally come from low-budget, volunteer-supported organisations like ourselves, so there is very little revenue to be had there.
GLW's readership is not the wealthiest of demographics. Our aim is to champion the rights of the poor against the wealthy and appeal to and involve the poorer sections of society. So we've always tried to keep the price affordable.
That is why we have not increased our cover price or subscription rates for more than 20 years. But the cost of producing the paper over those years has been steadily rising. Australia Post's latest round of price increases is just the latest hit.
But the budgetary strain has finally become too great and we have decided it is time for a price increase. From this week the cover price of GLW is going up to $3. There will also be increases in the subscription rates, effective from issue 1088, with a one year subscription rising from $83 to $95.
Even with the price increases we will still be dependent on the efforts of our supporters donating money and organising fundraisers to balance the budget. That is why we will still advertise the cover price as “$3/$5 solidarity price” to encourage those who can afford it to pay something more like the real cost of producing the paper.
For those who might find the price increases a bit hard on their budgets, there is still a window of four weeks to take out or renew a subscription at the old rates and we encourage you to do so.
For those who can afford a bit more we still need those extra donations to survive.
Donations can be made online at greenleft.org.au, by phoning us on 1800 634 206 or by direct deposits to Green Left Weekly, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, account number 00901992. Otherwise, you can send a cheque or money order to PO Box 394, Broadway NSW 2007.