Council takes action on magazine subscriptions
The Council voted to give Rotarians in the United States and Canada the option of receiving either a print copy or an electronic copy of The Rotarian.
Rotarians in the United States and Canada will be allowed to choose between receiving a print or an electronic copy of The Rotarian magazine following an action taken by the Council on Legislation 29 April in Chicago.
But representatives voted against giving a similar option to Rotarians outside the United States and Canada, who receive either The Rotarian or one of 31 regional magazines published by the Rotary World Magazine Press.
The Council rejected a proposal to do away with the subscription requirement altogether.
RI Director José Alfredo Sepúlveda explained that supporting print magazines is essential to Rotary’s communications strategy. “Having an official magazine and regional magazines is a necessity. The members of all important organizations receive a magazine that keeps them updated.”
Others pointed out that print magazines are a powerful tool for marketing to non-Rotarians and serve as Rotary’s primary way of reaching members who live in remote areas or lack Internet access.
Proponents of the choice argued that RI already has used online technology with great success, pointing to the recent transition of the print publication Rotary World to the electronic newsletter Rotary Leader. They said their aim was not to eliminate the print magazine.
“The magazine should be available at all times,” said Patricia M. Kasuda, of District 7620 (Washington, D.C.; parts of Maryland). “With today’s technology and RI’s partnership with Google Books, readers will get the same full-color articles the print magazine offers.”
But opponents noted that advertising revenues could decline and worried that the action could eventually lead to the demise of the print magazine.
“I’m addicted to the Internet, but I cannot agree with this measure because I love to hold the magazine in my hands and be able to pass it on to other people,” said Júlio J. D’Albuquerque Lóssio, of District 4490 (Brazil).
About 450,000 Rotarians in North America and 50,000 outside North America receive The Rotarian. The remaining 700,000 Rotarians subscribe to a regional magazine.
The Council also narrowly approved allowing joint subscriptions to the official magazine. Two Rotarians residing at the same address will have the option of sharing a subscription instead of paying for two subscriptions.
This enactment could result in a decrease in subscription revenues. The financial impact would be contingent upon the number of Rotarians who are living at the same address.
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