Editor's page (January 2009)
Like most of you, I’ve come up with a personal list of New Year’s resolutions that I hope won’t all be broken by Valentine’s Day. I’ve also put together a list of resolutions to make the magazine more compelling and more relevant to our half-million readers. Here are three, and because they are now in print, you can hold me accountable:
Make the magazine more readable. The top complaint from our readers is that The Rotarian can be difficult to read. “The text is too small” and “There’s not enough color contrast on the page” are the two most common criticisms in this category. Over the past few months, we’ve started addressing this concern. Our new managing editor, John Rezek, has emphasized “a more disciplined design” for the magazine, and we hope you’re noticing more design consistency from issue to issue.
Lighten up. No, “Stripped Gears” is not returning to our pages, but we are making an effort to bring some levity back to The Rotarian, starting with this month’s article by humorist Joe Queenan. And you’ll be seeing more humor in future issues. Rotarians are accustomed to fun at their weekly meetings, so if our magazine is aimed at reflecting a Rotarian’s experience, then humor certainly has a place here.
Respond more quickly to your correspondence. The Rotarian is your magazine; you’re our audience, you pay our salaries. We owe you our best effort, and that includes responding to your phone calls, letters, and e-mails in a timely manner. And we welcome all of your story ideas, questions, criticism, and compliments. Our staff is committed to answering all of them, though with 500,000 subscribers, we receive a lot of correspondence, so please be patient.
All of us at The Rotarian are making a renewed commitment to improving the magazine. Rotarians give us more positive stories and worthwhile material than we could ever hope to publish in any single issue. One of our biggest challenges is determining which stories we can accommodate each month and knowing that many deserving ones will be omitted. It’s a nice problem to have, for which we thank all of you.
Wishing you all the best in 2009.