One of the interesting issues to arise from Quadrant’s 50th birthday coverage over the weekend (and in yesterday’s Crikey) was the question of funding, and where the tiny
journal gets its money from these days. We didn’t know, so we thought
we’d ask
current Quadrant editor Paddy McGuinness.

It’s no secret that Quadrant rather reluctantly receives a chunk of its cash from
Australia’s peak arts funding body, the Australia Council. Since 2001
Quadrant’s hasreceivedbetween $20,000 and $30,000 each year from the
council, which, according to McGuinness, accounts for about a fifth of
the journal’s annual operating budget.

“I see nothing wrong with saying “you’re handing out money, we’ll be on
the list’”, McGuinness told Crikey this morning, but said in an ideal world
Quadrant wouldn’t take any money from the Australia Council.
McGuinness
admits he has a problem putting his hand out to take cash from the council, which Quadrant hasfrequently attacked over its funding decisions, but said
individual donations were scarce so he was hamstrung into accepting its
cash.

But the main problem is not ideological. The most
annoying thing
about the grant, according to McGuinness, is the financial hoops the
small publication has to go through, with about 50% of its council
funding going to producing the detailed accounts required by the
Australia Council.

According to McGuinness Quadrant‘s 3,500 subscribers and 4,500 news-stand sales pick up
the rest of the tab, with the occasional small donation here and there.
The
journal carries almost no advertising and pays its contributors,
including its literary editor Les Muray, “a pittance”. You can read Paddy McGuinness’ response to Guy Rudle’s Quadrant piece (item 6 in yesterday’s Crikey) in today’s comments section.