Monday, February 03, 2014


I don't know how many of you have seen Peter Joffe's note on SAMAA News, but for those who haven't, there's a copy here.
Nor do I have any insight into what is behind this.
Anyway, for what it is worth, and as an outsider, here's what I think.
We pay our subscriptions for three main reasons:
1. To have a collective voice to deal with Government, local authorities, land owners, NGOs and any other body or persons who may affect our hobby.
2. To arrange collective insurance cover.
3. To be kept up to date with what our Association and its members are doing.
We pay for Admin, Insurance and SAMAA News.
I can't speak for anyone else, but as a member I am quite happy to pay for the News. And to use Peter's colourful analogy, I'd rather have Toilet Roll News than no News at all.
The Editor's mandate should be to produce a News that is interesting, and useful to our members. If some production cost can be offset by advertising, so much the better.
To try to cover all or a large portion of the cost from advertising is putting the cart before the horse. We pay subs for the News.
As I read it Peter's concern is that he is limited to a budget for the News no matter how much advertising comes in.
There may be good reasons for this.
But I think Peter is right that this may force him to reduce quality.
I have no insight into the current News letter costs, nor the budget allocation. But the Editor needs a clear mandate and then be left to get on with it.
Two final personal remarks.
For my subscription I should rather have a Toilet Roll News than no News at all.
If I were the Editor the last thing I should want to do is look after the commercial side of advertising. That can be a real can of worms.

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