Founded in 2001, The Reader Magazine is the only free news publication in America– and within the $140 billion U.S. local advertising marketplace– that helps advertisers influence local audiences through positive environmental, social and economic impact in communities.  The Reader Magazine is based in Redlands, California and from there reaches 17 other cities by mailing its publication to 390,000 people.
Inside each Reader Magazine are stories from America’s best investigative news organizations, research institutions and authors which, to growing numbers of people across the US are champions of truth-telling.  Over many years, The Reader Magazine has built a brand that satisfies the steady rise of interest in people to be citizens and part of a community, which has created an increasingly robust bond with nearly four hundred thousands readers and the businesses which need to influence them.


Over the next five years, The Reader Magazine will become the first single media entity with a journalistic connection with every American.  The singularity, timing and nature of this connection will enable The Reader to provide print and Internet advertising to all U.S. advertisers.  Plus, The Reader’s capacity to physically and relevantly reach everyone in America will enable it to give birth to important, new Internet platforms and applications in which physical, non-digital connectivity adds value.  Given that 94% of all commerce happens in physical space, the totality of The Reader’s physical connection may enable it to replace (or become an important competitor to) even the most popular Internet platforms and social networks which lack physical connectivity with users.


The Reader is an environmentally responsible advertising revolution.  It drives advertiser ROI through journalistic content rather than high frequency, saving each advertiser an average of 4 tons of wood and $3,549 per year.  The Reader model is so environmentally superior that when only 2% of US SMEs choose it over conventional direct mail it reduces total US green house gasses by 6.5 million tons, enough that 1000 transitions with equal impact would reduce total US green house gas to net zero.


Part of what fostered America’s equal economic opportunity, growth and global dominance during the late 1940s to early 1970s came through a shared sense of purpose, taste and vocabulary made possible from single media entities– certain TV shows, radio programs and magazines– entering a large majority of American homes.  This worked to empower nearly all Americans because it was distributed through a decentralized, democratic system in which thousands of local media channels could exert influence– and thus accountability– in what was coming into homes.
The core social impact strategy of The Reader Magazine is to produce and distribute honest information to all, free.  This strategy includes bringing investigative journalism and work by independent authors, researchers and foundations to a critical mass of the population. Our model is able to bring unfiltered, independent news because advertising dollars come from hundreds of thousands of the smallest economic players in US society, not only the largest.


In communities across the US, small businesses and ordinary folks are increasingly economically vulnerable from no local media channel serving as their political champion.  The result has been a steady decline in wages for most Americans and an increase in economic inequality.  An example of this inequity (and market inefficiency) is that despite small businesses producing 50% of all U.S. GDP, half of all payroll, and the majority of new jobs, they receive less than 1% of the available investment capital in the U.S.


Towards the end of his life, when Albert Einstein was asked how problems that threatened man’s survival might be solved (such as nuclear war) he said humanity had two choices: world peace or universal death.  He also said that a different way of thinking had to be used to solve these problems than the thinking used which created the problem.
If he was right, it follows that we should look very closely to see if our news and information system– which is most responsible for shaping our judgement– is promoting violence and war or peace.
When we do, of course, we find that our news and information system is not currently set to allow mankind to survive.  An all consuming focus on short term profits– in place for decades– has glorified violence in entertainment and in news and has shaped the thinking of millions of people to believe that man is incapable of renouncing violence and that war is an acceptable choice to achieve security— precisely the thinking Einstein warned would lead to no other end than man’s demise.
If a system set up to inform and guide people hasn’t gotten this right, what good is any of its information?  The ever-increasing failure of our media system to promote peace and to renounce violence proves it has lost its legitimacy.  It also makes clear that we must put in place a nationwide information source of information that reaches everyone that is independent of the dominant media which have thus proven incapable of solving problems we must solve if we are to survive.
In addition to its enormous potential environmental, social and economic impact, which you can learn more of here, this is the enormous humanistic potential of a nationwide Reader Magazine.

We have now embarked on taking this very unique publication and transforming it into a nationwide information source that will communicate stories at a scale massive enough to create a social movement to greater social justice and equality, a model powered by good old fashioned Main Street American businesses, the kind my grandfather–my Babu–started and worked at his whole life.

— Founder of The Reader Magazine, Christopher Theodore