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Skeptic's Magazine

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Peter Grant
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« on: November 15, 2009, 17:05:47 PM »

I want a Skeptics Magazine relating to South Africa and all the woo that is gong on here, whether it be pseudo-science, religion, politics or whatever. I want it to be glossy and full of articles, something like this. I'd be willing to pay R100 or R200 a month for a magazine like that, which I could read at work and display on my desk to anyone who might be interested in borrowing it.

But where to start? I know nothing about the industry and I don't really read newspapers and magazines except online. Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

I thought that one good way to get the meme spreading would be to contact skeptical journalists. So far, I have emailed Kim Hawkey at the Sunday Times as her article 'Stop missionary work in schools' seemed rather skeptical. Are there any other South African journalists you guys enjoy reading who seem similarly inclined?

Also this is an open invitation to anyone who would be interested in submitting material, lets get an idea of how many potential contributors we could have.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2009, 17:43:01 PM »

One possible source of articles, at least initially, are SA sceptical blogs, assuming that the authors would be willing to find themselves in print.  Existing blogs could be expanded or fleshed out by the authors to meet editorial requirements in terms of word count, format, illustrations, references, etc.  It could also invite letters and other submissions from readers.  Once (or rather, if) the magazine gathers enough momentum of its own, it would be more or less self-sufficient.  Actually, that’s quite a big “if,” so it may be wiser to aim a bit lower at first towards, say, a short five- or ten-page supplement to some general interest or science magazine – a “Critical Thinking for Everyone” endeavour that aims to educate through example, without being trivial.

'Luthon64
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st0nes
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2009, 07:36:02 AM »

I want a Skeptics Magazine relating to South Africa and all the woo that is gong on here, whether it be pseudo-science, religion, politics or whatever. I want it to be glossy and full of articles, something like this.

This is a good idea, Peter, but perhaps over ambitious in scale.  I used to be a subscriber to Skeptic, but it became too expensive when the the recession hit; they have the enormous resources of the JREF behind them and a continent full of contributers and readers upon whom to draw.

That said, there is a huge amount of woo going on here that is never challenged in the media because our journalists simply don't have the skills to expose it.

I would be prepared to contribute from a non-specialist viewpoint if you get this off the ground.
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Peter Grant
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2009, 18:37:08 PM »

One possible source of articles, at least initially, are SA sceptical blogs, assuming that the authors would be willing to find themselves in print.  Existing blogs could be expanded or fleshed out by the authors to meet editorial requirements in terms of word count, format, illustrations, references, etc.  It could also invite letters and other submissions from readers.  Once (or rather, if) the magazine gathers enough momentum of its own, it would be more or less self-sufficient.  Actually, that’s quite a big “if,” so it may be wiser to aim a bit lower at first towards, say, a short five- or ten-page supplement to some general interest or science magazine – a “Critical Thinking for Everyone” endeavour that aims to educate through example, without being trivial.

'Luthon64

Thanks Mefiante. I like the idea of using bloggers, there's some really great material there. Care to nominate a few of your favourites? If you post links I'll try to persuade them. If you have time, I think you should also submit a few articles as well. I enjoy reading your posts.

Starting with a supplement is a great idea. That way we won't have to advertise, brilliant! Which newspaper do you think would be most amenable to the idea? I'd really like to keep the magazine as a longer term goal though, glossy pictures and all. Don't see why we can't eventually do both.

That said, there is a huge amount of woo going on here that is never challenged in the media because our journalists simply don't have the skills to expose it.

I would be prepared to contribute from a non-specialist viewpoint if you get this off the ground.

There is, isn't there? South Africa desperately needs something like this.

Appreciate the offer, quite like reading you blog.
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