The Anglican Journal looks different this month.
The most noticeable change for you, the reader, is likely to be the newspaper’s smaller size; we are now publishing a base newspaper of 12 pages, as compared to the 16 pages, which we had previously printed. This is a change that was mandated last summer, when General Synod’s budget had to be adjusted because of a shortfall in anticipated revenue.
The reduction in the number of pages may make it seem to readers that there are lots more ads than usual. Traditionally, the ratio of advertising to editorial/news content in this newspaper has been close to 25 per cent. With a smaller newspaper, if ads do not fall, the ratio will of course go up. It is worth noting that most secular newspapers consider an ad-to-editorial ratio in the neighborhood of 60 per cent to be acceptable.
The newspaper’s smaller size has resulted in several other changes. Last issue, we said goodbye to two columnists – Harold Percy who wrote Sharing the Joy, and Gordon Baker, the anonymous compiler of The Way It Was. (Mr. Percy will be writing a column on congregational development for the General Synod magazine MinistryMatters, starting with the spring edition.)
The monthly columns on movies and music are also gone as regular features. Instead, with this edition, we are starting a “culture” page, which will be anchored by book reviews. In any Journal readership survey ever undertaken, book reviews have proven to be one of the most popular features. Anglicans are inveterate readers.
Wilfred Langmaid, who wrote on music, and Peter Elliott who reviewed movies, will write for the culture page from time to time. Periodically, expect to see features and articles of a cultural nature.
Other changes may be less noticeable. We will produce more tightly written articles, so that we can still offer a range and assortment of material. News briefs, from Canada and the world, will be published on the same page.
Perhaps the most important thing for you to know, though, concerns what does not change. The Anglican Journal’s mandate and editorial independence do not change. The dedication of staff to bringing you stories about your church and to producing one of the best newspapers in the Anglican Communion does not change.
As editor, I hope that our reduction in size will prove temporary. While it is thus, however, you have the undertaking of Anglican Journal staff that we will continue to serve you to the best of our journalistic skills and abilities.