''Utne Reader'' (also known as ''Utne'') ( ) is a digital digest that collects and reprints articles on politics, culture, and the environment, generally from alternative media sources including journals, newsletters, weeklies, zines, music, and DVDs. The magazine's writers and editors contribute book, film, and music reviews and original articles that tend to focus on emerging cultural trends. The magazine's website produces ten blogs covering politics, environment, media, spirituality, science and technology, great writing, and the arts. The publication takes its name from founder Eric Utne. "Utne" rhymes with the English word "chutney". Eric Utne's surname is ultimately derived from the Norwegian village of Utne, which loosely translates as "far out".


The magazine was founded in 1984 by Eric Utne as the ''Utne Reader''. Its tagline was "the best of the alternative press." For its first 20 years Jay Walljasper was editor; Julie Ristau was its publisher. During these years it was transformed "from a tiny New Age newsletter to a thick, ad-rich magazine with more than 300,000 subscribers." Utne chaired the magazine until the late 1990s, when his then-wife Nina Rothschild Utne took over. The magazine was headquartered in Minneapolis. The cover logo was changed to simply ''Utne'' in 2003, continuing until 2006, with the subtitle, ''A Different Read on Life''. In 2006 the magazine was purchased by Ogden Publications, publishers of ''Grit'', ''Mother Earth News'', ''Natural Home'', and other magazines. The earlier title ''Utne Reader'' was brought back, and the magazine returned to and refocused on its original mission to reprint "the best of the alternative press". According to ''The New York Times'', ''Utne Reader'' was a leader of the salon movement of the 1980s, devoted to debate on the issues of the day. ''Utne Reader'' was an early source of coverage of the mythopoetic men's movement when it first surfaced in the early 1990s.

Utne Independent Press Awards

The magazine bestows annual Utne Independent Press Awards, which honor alternative and independent magazines from around the world. Past winners include the ''Wilson Quarterly'', ''In These Times'', ''Virginia Quarterly Review'', ''Mother Jones'', ''Orion'', ''High Country News'', ''Gnosis'' and ''New Internationalist''.

In popular culture

*In ''The Simpsons'' episode "King-Size Homer", Lisa Simpson receives a letter for a subscription to the ''Utne Reader''. A later episode, "Dad Behavior", again references Lisa's collection of the magazines. *In the ''Family Guy'' episode "The Son Also Draws", Brian Griffin is seen reading the magazine. *In ''Mystery Science Theater 3000'' episode "Zombie Nightmare", Tom Servo makes a reference to the magazine's staff during a rather tame and well-dressed disco scene. *In the webcomic ''Narbonic'', in one of the first few strips in the series, the lab's intern is shown reading the magazine. Later in the comic series, another character makes a reference to the magazine.



{{Ogden Newspapers Category:Alternative magazines Category:Modern liberal magazines published in the United States Category:Monthly magazines published in the United States Category:Magazines established in 1984 Category:Magazines published in Kansas Category:Magazines published in Minnesota Category:Mass media in Minneapolis–Saint Paul Category:Mass media in Topeka, Kansas Category:Webby Award winners