From the Editor: Deadline discipline

By Terence Moore

A monthly newspaper has to arrive when the readers expect it. We keep you waiting a month to see the paper. The least we can do it get there on time.

Fortunately, the printing and distribution system for the Anglican Journal and the diocesan papers is well organized to achieve that goal. The Journal and the local papers are printed in a single operation at Webnews in Toronto, then trucked to the mailroom where the local sections such as the Rupert’s Land News are inserted inside the Journal and mailing labels are affixed. Then the whole load is given to the Post Office, which ships them to addressees across the country.

When everything goes smoothly, readers receive their paper on the first day of the month – give or take a couple of days. Often, this is achieved – though the Post Office cannot always truck the papers on time to readers on Vancouver Island and Newfoundland.

Deadlines for mailing, inserting and printing are laid down months in advance. The editors of the diocesan papers are given their deadlines for delivery of their electronic files to the printer. If an editor is late, the mailing to readers in that diocese will be late. If the editor delivers to the printer on time, those readers will probably receive their paper on time.

The Rupert’s Land News is a small thing in its readers’ field of vision. It may, however, deserve attention if the people producing it seem to care about it and seem to care about their readers. One way to express that caring is to arrive on time.

It has always seemed to me that I could never afford to be late. The Rupert’s Land News is a small thing in its readers’ field of vision. It may, however, deserve attention if the people producing it seem to care about it and seem to care about their readers. One way to express that caring is to arrive on time. Conversely, irregular arrival may seem to say that the newspaper does not care much about its relationship with its readers and its place in their lives.

For all these reasons, I have strictly respected the deadlines provided to diocesan editors. The Anglican Journal and the printers have kept their part of the bargain and shipped the paper out on time. The Post Office has no doubt done its best.

This has sometimes been hard on contributors and parishes. I have had to tell them that the paper is gone and that last-minute items will have to wait until next month. I ask forgiveness from all those I have disappointed in this way. Sometimes we report in the May paper something that happened in December, which hardly feels like prompt or efficient service to the readers.

On-time has, however, a different meaning in Cyberspace. New stories and pictures can be presented to the readers immediately – as soon as the picture is shot or the story is written.

On-time has, however, a different meaning in Cyberspace. The Online Rupert’s Land News is new every morning. New stories and pictures can be presented to the readers immediately – as soon as the picture is shot or the story is written.

The deadlines related to printing the paper impose a useful discipline upon people of my generation, because you must either write it now or lose a month. In Cyberspace, there is no such deadline, which may be a blessing or may not, depending on the circumstances.

A new editor who is able to work in both frames of mind – continuous publishing and monthly deadlines – may make the Rupert’s Land News a much more current and vital publication.

A new editor who is able to work in both frames of mind – continuous publishing and monthly deadlines – may make the Rupert’s Land News a much more current and vital publication.