Whither World War 4 Report?

This upcoming 9-11 anniversary will mark eight years that World War 4 Report has been publishing. We have only kept it going because nobody else is doing it, and we consider it vital: a daily digest of the GWOT news from around the world, with exacting journalistic standards and a progressive neither/nor perspective equally unsparing on imperialism and the jihad. But we have to face the fact that is has utterly failed to accrue a significant readership—at least in numerical terms.

Our hits have remained steady at approximately 40,000 a month for years. Our e-mail list has still not broken a thousand subscribers. And we cannot sustain an annual $2,000 fund-drive—which is the minimum we need to keep going. Most prominent political websites of the left—both those we view fraternally and those we view as rivals due to their bad politics—seem to be able to do this reliably. As we head into autumn, we are still attempting to meet this goal from last winter’s fund drive. We are especially grateful to readers who have supported us multiple times, but this merely drives home the reality that our readership largely consists of a small hardcore.

Further evidence is provided by the poor returns on our Exit Polls, which we ask readers to respond to in lieu of sending a small annual donation. Our July Exit Poll on Honduras was also post to Daily Kos as an experiment. It received over 100 votes on Daily Kos in a single hour—and only 16 on our own website over the course of a month. Perhaps we have to face the reality that if World War 4 Report hasn’t flown yet, it isn’t going to.

The bulk of the work of producing the Report falls on my shoulders, and I have just received an assignment in Peru, to cover the indigenous land struggle there for NACLA Report on the Americas and Indian Country Today. The travel costs will be covered in part by a grant from the Nation Institute. I will be away through the end of September.

So, inevitably, our monthly e-journal is going on hiatus. We are now sending out a joint August-September issue. Whether there will be an October issue will depend, in part, on readers’ response. The Daily Report will continue, but activity there will probably be slowed down, and it will focus more on first-hand accounts from Peru.

Those of you who over the past year and half have given $25 or more to receive the new addition in our pamphlet series, Petro-Imperialism: the Overstretched American Empire and the Struggle for the Planet’s Oil—we promise you, that you will receive it, despite the fact that it appears to be hypertrophing from a pamphlet to a book. So you will get more than your money’s worth, despite the delay.

Meanwhile, we are now just $205 short of the $2,000 goal we have been trying to reach all year. Your donation now will help facilitate on-the-ground journalism in the mountains and jungles of Peru.

Much of the funds already contributed this year have been put towards debugging and improving the website. The “theater” categories are working again, after having been disabled by gremlins for several weeks. (Play with the world map that appears on the top banner.)

We clearly need to rethink the future of World War 4 Report. Please write us and tell us what you feel we are doing right and wrong, how we should evolve—or, less optimistically, whether we should continue to publish. We put this same question to our readers last year, and the situation has not improved since then—so if you have any insight into our dilemma, please share it. And if you can help us finally put the fund drive behind us—please do.

Thank you, shukran and gracias,

Bill Weinberg

Editor, World War 4 Report

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