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Every year, as part of its annual convention, the Canadian magazine industry invites an “international” (usually American) speaker: a well-known writer, editor or publisher whose experience and insights are likely to have relevance for Canadians in the magazine trade. In 2006, the choice was Victor Navasky, editor and later publisher of the left-wing American weekly magazine The Nation. A witty and engaging speaker, Navasky regaled the audience with tales of temperamental writers, quixotic fundraising attempts and brushes with the legal system – stories that bring a smile of recognition to the faces of editors, especially those working for small and struggling publications. Interspersed with his anecdotes were serious reflections on the role of what he called the “journal of opinion,” and since Inroads defines itself as “The Canadian Journal of Opinion,” I listened with attention. I also bought a copy of his book A Matter of Opinion,1 which turned out to be, in essence, an extended version of his address.

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