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January 2009 issue of Reason
Editor-in-Chief Matt Welch
Categories general interest, public policy
Frequency 11 issues annually
Circulation 60,000
First issue 1968
Company Reason Foundation
Country United States
Language English
ISSN 0048-6906

Reason is a libertarian monthly magazine from the Reason Foundation. The magazine has a circulation of around 60,000 and was named one of the 50 best magazines in 2003 and 2004 by the Chicago Tribune.[1][2]



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, 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, Radley Balko, Tim Cavanaugh, Kerry Howley, David Weigel, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Michael C. Moynihan, Damon Root, Greg Beato, Cathy Young, Jonathan Rauch, and cartoonist Peter Bagge. Former editors include Nick Gillespie, Marty Zupan, and Virginia Postrel.

Erik Spiekermann, the inventor of the typeface Meta, 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, according to then editor-in-chief Nick Gillespie, as well as the customized printing capabilities of Xeikon's printer.[3]

In 2008, Reason's web site,, was named a Webby Award Honoree in the magazine category.[4] The magazine has since come underfire by many libertarians for Matt Welch critical views of economist Murray Rothbard and Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Libertarian blogger Justin Raimondo has also critized the magazine and its editors for caring to much about civil liberties rather than caring about shrinking the size of government.

Hit and Run

Hit & Run is Reason's group blog. It is maintained and written by the staff of the magazine. It was started in 2002. Former Reason Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie and Reason 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 & Run" was taken from what had been a weekly news roundup column on The Reason editors referred to this co-opting of the former website as the "Suck-ification of Reason."[5]

In 2005, Hit & Run was named as one of the best political blogs by Playboy.[6]


  1. ^ "The 50 Best Magazines". Chicago Tribune. June 12, 2003. 
  2. ^ "50 best magazines". Chicago Tribune. June 17, 2004.,1,1202754.story?coll=chi-homepagenews-utl. 
  3. ^ "Putting 40,000 Readers, One by One, on a Cover". New York Times. April 5, 2004. 
  4. ^ "Webby Honorees". Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  5. ^ Cotts, Cynthia (January 21, 2003). "A Marriage Made Online: How 'Reason' Came to 'Suck'". The Village Voice.,cotts,41332,6.html. 
  6. ^ "Top 10 Political Blogs". Playboy. November 2006. 

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