Online pro-life magazine launched

  • September 6, 2007
{mosimage}TORONTO - A new Toronto-based monthly online magazine dedicated to the pro-life cause has just launched.

Jennifer Ha started from home on a shoestring budget in August.
“I’m starting from scratch,” said the 27-year-old Ha, who just finished her second degree in professional writing from York University.

“When I was studying print journalism at York my ultimate goal was to publish my own bioethical magazine from a pro-life perspective.”

The site is divided up into four sections: readings, reflections, reviews and reader contributions, covering topics such as cloning, abortion and euthanasia.

Ha said the readers’ forum where registered users can post messages sets her magazine apart from others.

Ha has recruited a number of pro-life supporters to her editorial board, including Natalie Hudson, director of Right to Life Association of Toronto , Opus Dei priest Fr. Charles Chang-Soo Nahm and John B. Shea, a retired physician who writes for a variety of Catholic publications.

Ha’s own experience with the pro-life movement is limited. She was a member of a pro-life club while she studied for her English undergraduate degree at Hamilton’s McMaster University.

“It took me a while to realize the importance of this movement,” said Ha, adding she became pro-life during her secondary schooling at the Opus Dei-connected Hawthorn School for Girls.

{sidebar id=1}Ha said half her writers are in their 20s and she hopes to get more high school students to contribute.

“Anybody who likes writing can approach me with story ideas, just lay people, students,” she said.

“I’m trying to get my writers to be more reflective just on their daily lives. Just to look back on their lives and appreciate it,” said the South Korean-born journalist.

Alas, the job is, for now, a labour of love. Ha supports herself through work as a Korean-English interpreter because she is unable to take a salary or pay her writers. But she hopes that is only in the short term. Ha’s goal is to attract a quality pool of writers now and then pay them for their work when the magazine starts to make money.  

“If I have good writers writing for my magazine it means we will have a better readership, which will help me reach my financial goals.”

When Ha was soliciting writers, the president of a major pro-life organization in the United States criticized her for spreading resources thin.   

“He said this duplication of effort is killing the movement,” said Ha. “My response would be I don’t think anything is ever too much. It all boils down to if you do it for the right reason.

“I could have gone out and found a job that makes more money rather than spending my precious time on this.”

Eventually, Ha said she would like to create a printed version of her magazine, but for now cyberspace is more cost effective.

“These days you don’t need to go to print right away.... You don’t have to wait to start your magazine in 10 years. You can go online,” said Ha.

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