One of the visual results of the $1.3 million in cuts to the 2009 General Synod budget appears in your hands this month. The number of pages in the Anglican Journal is down to 12 pages from a normal average of 16 pages, the result of a $150,000 cut to the General Synod grant to the newspaper.
In response to the reduced grant, the Journal needed to cut printing costs and increase advertising revenue in order to come in with a balanced budget for 2009. The result, in newspaper language, is a “tighter” paper; less room for stories and features. The result will be shorter and fewer stories.
The reduced grant slightly impacted staffing. Instead of having two full time staff writers, a second writer — Leigh Anne Williams — was hired for three days a week (see the announcement of her appointment on p.10).
It may have been providential that a long-anticipated staff retreat to redesign and “re-imagine” the print and Web versions of the Journal took place on Nov. 26. It was there that the staff dealt with the reality of less space for news stories and features in the print version and an opportunity to look at ways to improve the Web version.
Over the next few months you will witness a change in the design and appearance of the print version as well as the Web site.
There will be less duplication of stories between the two versions. Readers will notice more concise stories in the print version and expanded stories packaged with additional background information on the Web.
The Journal’s print version will be peppered with references to anglicanjournal.com where readers will have access to additional information.
The Journal thrives on interaction with readers and values letters to the editor. Letter writers are encouraged to write succinctly so that there is room to print more opinions.
The ongoing financial support through the Journal Appeal is deeply appreciated.