Today, the Black Mountain Institute in the UNLV College of Liberal Arts announced in a press release that it would discontinue the publication of its beloved literary and arts magazine, The Believer. According to the release, “the decision is part of a strategic realignment within the college and BMI as it emerges from the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“This was not an easy decision but a necessary one, unfortunately,” Jennifer Keene, Dean of UNLV’s College of Liberal Arts, said in a statement. “The Believer consumed a significant portion of BMI’s resources. After reviewing the data with internal and external stakeholders, it was clear that there was no path forward to continue publishing the magazine. Print publications in general have been facing increasing headwinds in recent years, which makes them a financially challenging endeavor.”
“While The Believer is a highly regarded vehicle for both new and established literary voices, we have a responsibility to direct our resources to the initiatives most central to BMI’s mission,” Keene added. “As we focus on its core mission, support for BMI remains strong. We look forward to the continuation of the institute’s vibrant offerings and exceptional literary and community engagement.”
There is, perhaps predictably, nothing in the release that refers to the scandal that ensued earlier this year when Believer editor-in-chief Joshua Wolf Shenk exposed himself on a Zoom call to a group of Believer and BMI staff members, an incident that led to his resignation and an open letter from the staff members contesting the nature of the media coverage around it.
The final issue, No. 139, is scheduled to be published in February/March 2022.