One year after Ms. magazine and the Feminist Majority Foundation combined forces, Ms. has shown marked growth in both on the stands and online. In addition, the feminist magazine announced today the appointment of Elaine Lafferty, a veteran journalist and former correspondent for Time magazine, as its new editor-in-chief. Lafferty’s background includes both foreign and domestic reporting and editing.
Lafferty takes the helm as Ms. is building both its magazine readership and its web presence. The Ms. website, www.MsMagazine.com, has experienced exponential site growth, jumping from less than 4 million hits to more than 12 million hits per month. On newsstands across the country and in Canada, Ms. has increased its distribution by 9.7 percent, and sales of the magazine at college bookstores are well above the industry average. “There is clearly a pent-up demand for a feminist viewpoint and analysis of politics, news and culture, and Ms. is in a unique position to provide just that,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, which publishes Ms.
“I am delighted to join a growing, dynamic and healthy magazine,” said Lafferty. “The magazine’s new owners have a unique and keen insight into the feminist readership that is the core of the Ms. community. They are also committed to the expansion of Ms. and its message.”
“Elaine is a magazine professional, and also has been a longtime activist and journalist in the national and international women’s movement,” said Gloria Steinem, who co-founded Ms. in 1972 and remains involved as a consulting editor. “Ms. is lucky to have her unusual and crucial combination of talents to lead its future.”
Ms. recently published its Spring 2003 issue, on newsstands now. The issue includes a poll that reveals feminists are still the majority. “It is stunning that 56 percent of women call themselves feminists after what the fundamentalist right wing has tried to do to that word,” said Lafferty. “And what’s better is that 83 percent of women believe the women’s rights movement is a moving force for positive change for women – a dramatic increase over the past 30 years. Among that overwhelming majority, a whopping 92 percent of young women (18-24 age group) rate the movement as a positive force for change. No wonder Ms. is doing so well at the college bookstores.”