“It’s getting better all the time. I admit it’s getting better.”
Things are getting better at the Fifth Estate, although you’d never know it by looking at our office windows. Last week we lost them to a fire bomb at 3:00 in the morning. The front part of the reception area was gutted and bundles of old issues were destroyed.
Immediately after the Detroit rebellion our windows were knocked out by a National Guard tear gas bomb and operations literally went underground for nearly a week. Sporting gas masks and typewriters, our staff converted our basement into a working office and put out the September 15 – 30 issue without inhaling.
Our newsstands are a different color now. As we go to press, three of our campus boxes were mutilated with red paint (our favorite color). We aren’t too unhappy about that though. Tommye Weiss, our circulation manager, reports that she was going to paint them this week anyway.
Richard J. Kohman decided he didn’t like the paper so he petitioned Common Council to remove our newsstands from public places. Ruling that the paper was not “obscene or seditious,” the Council threw the petition out.
Not only are things getting better, but the Fifth Estate is getting bigger, too. Readers will notice an increase from 10 cents to 15 cents per copy. This will just cover the cost of our increased press run of 12,500 papers. Our paid circulation is 12,000, but a good deal of that income goes to the salesmen, distributors and to higher mailing costs. Our old subscribers will still receive the 26 issues they paid $2.50 for, but our new rates are $3.00 for one year and $5.00 for two.
We will frequently run issues in color and often with a poster cover as we have in the last two editions. Although we are a sixteen page tabloid, don’t be surprised if you see twenty or more pages in special issues.
The Fifth Estate has been a member of the Underground Press Syndicate since it’s conception, but we have recently joined Liberation News Service (LNS) and the Resistance Press (RP). These special news services, created only for underground papers, will help us get the news to you sooner.
We’ve had a lot of backlash about our last issue because we changed our type face. For those readers who don’t know it, we are an offset press and our copy is set in cold type. We had been using a large 10 point type face but decided to change to eight point to get more copy in each paper. This issue we’re back to our old type face because our new equipment needed repair. In any case, if the readers would let us know which type face they prefer, we would certainly take that into consideration. Drop a line to 1107 West Warren in Detroit and tell us what you think. We have to know by our next deadline which is October 22.
Our street salesmen have been increasing with each new paper. Now over one hundred young people are making 7 cents for each Fifth Estate they sell. Plum Street, downtown, hip concerts (DONOVAN, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, etc.) and shopping centers provide easy outlets for selling papers. High school and campus distributors make as much as twenty dollars a month. That’s more than the staff makes. Call 831-6800 if you’d like to make some extra cash or write 1107 West Warren, c/o Circulation Manager.
Finally, The Fifth Estate is bringing in the San Francisco Mime Troupe to help pay for more newsstands and to purchase new office equipment. Tickets are $2 and $3; write BFD Productions, 4746 Fourth, Detroit for seats or buy them at Marwil Books, Mixed Media at WSU (5704 Cass) or at the door.