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January 2009 issue of Reason
Editor-in-Chief Matt Welch
Categories general interest, public policy
Frequency 11 issues annually
Circulation 50,000
First issue 1968
Company Reason Foundation
Country United States
Language English
ISSN Template:ISSN search link

Reason is an American libertarian monthly magazine published by the Reason Foundation.[1] The magazine has a circulation of around 50,000[2] and was named one of the 50 best magazines in 2003 and 2004 by the Chicago Tribune.[3][4]


Reason was founded in 1968 by Lanny Friedlander as a more-or-less monthly mimeographed publication. In 1970 it was purchased by Robert W. Poole, Jr., Manuel S. Klausner, and Tibor R. Machan, who set it on a more regular publishing schedule. As the monthly print magazine of "free minds and free markets", it covers politics, culture, and ideas with a mix of news, analysis, commentary, and reviews.

Matt Welch has been the magazine's editor-in-chief since 2008. Other Reason writers include Jacob Sullum, Jesse Walker, Brian Doherty, Ronald Bailey, Tim Cavanaugh, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, Damon Root, Mike Riggs, Lucy Steigerwald, Greg Beato, Cathy Young, Jonathan Rauch, and cartoonist Peter Bagge. Former editors include Nick Gillespie, Marty Zupan, and Virginia Postrel.

Erik Spiekermann, the designer of the Meta typeface, headed a redesign of Reason in 2001, aiming for a look that is "cleaner, more modern, making use of the Meta typeface throughout".

In June 2004, subscribers to Reason magazine received a personalized issue that had their name, and a satellite photo of their home or workplace on the cover. The concept was to demonstrate the power of public databases, as well as the customized printing capabilities of Xeikon's printer, according to then editor-in-chief Nick Gillespie.[5] The move was seen by David Carr of the New York Times as "the ultimate in customized publishing", as well as "a remarkable demonstration of the growing number of ways databases can be harnessed."[6]

In 2008, Reason's web site,[7] was named a Webby Award Honoree in the magazine category.[8]

In 2011, Nick Gillespie published The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America with Reason magazine Editor-in-chief Matt Welch.[9]

Hit and Run[]

Hit and Run is Reason's group blog. It is maintained and written by the staff of the magazine. It was started in 2002. Then-editor Gillespie and then-Web editor Tim Cavanaugh, both veterans of, modeled the blog in some ways after that website: they brought along several other writers to contribute, fostered a style in the blog matching that former website's sarcastic attitude, and even the name "Hit and Run" was taken from what had been a weekly news roundup column on Reason editors referred to this co-opting of the former website as the "Suck-ification of Reason."[10]

In 2005, Hit and Run was named as one of the best political blogs by Playboy.[11]

Reason TV[]

Reason TV is a website affiliated with Reason magazine that produces short-form documentaries and video editorials. Nick Gillespie is editor-in-chief. The site produced a series of videos called The Drew Carey Project hosted by comedian Drew Carey.[12] teamed with Carey again in 2009 to produce "Reason Saves Cleveland," in which Carey suggested libertarian solutions to his hometown's problems.[13]

See also[]

  • The Declaration of Independents (book)
  • History


  1. "Reason Foundation - About the Reason Foundation". Retrieved 2012-07-15.
  2. "The New York Times . Lanny Friedlander, Founder of Reason Magazine, Dies at 63". NYT. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
  3. "The 50 Best Magazines". Chicago Tribune. June 12, 2003.
  4. "50 best magazines". Chicago Tribune. June 17, 2004.,1,1202754.story?coll=chi-homepagenews-utl.
  5. Carr, David (April 5, 2004). "Putting 40,000 Readers, One by One, on a Cover". New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  6. Carr, David. "Putting 40,000 Readers, One by One, on a Cover". The New York Times. April 5, 2004
  8. "Webby Honorees". Retrieved 2009-06-18.
  9. "The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America". accessdate= July 28, 2011.
  10. Cotts, Cynthia (January 21, 2003). "A Marriage Made Online: How 'Reason' Came to 'Suck'". The Village Voice.,cotts,41332,6.html.
  11. "Top 10 Political Blogs". Playboy. November 2006.
  12. "About". Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  13. "Reason Foundation on Reason Saves Cleveland". Retrieved October 20, 2010.

External links[]

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