Rotary Magazines: Getting the Word Out
(Article written by Dave Lorenzen - Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Sunrise)          


Rotary International News

April is Magazine Month, a time to celebrate the global network of Rotary’s official magazines, which provide valuable information to 1.2 million Rotarians.

The Rotary World Magazine Press consists of 32 magazines from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe that inform, inspire, and entertain in 23 languages. In addition to The Rotarian, Rotary’s English-language flagship publication, it offers magazines such as Vida Rotaria (Argentina), Rotary in Bulgaria, and The Rotary-no-Tomo (Japan).

The RI Bylaws require all club members to subscribe to The Rotarian or a Rotary regional magazine. Rotary leaders, district governors, and club presidents are encouraged to support magazine editors in their country or region by submitting story ideas, promoting readership, encouraging timely subscription payments, and assisting with other communication efforts.

Look for a new international supplement edition in the pages of The Rotarian early in the 2008-09 Rotary year. The eight-page supplement, to be produced for all official Rotary magazines, will highlight Rotary’s work on the global stage. Ahmet Tükel, editor of Rotary Dergisi, the Turkish magazine, says the special edition represents a step forward. “The supplement will help promote a unified and global image of the organization,” he notes, “and show how collaboration of editors from different parts of the world can help put together a tool for communicating the strength and appeal of Rotary International.”

In January of 1911, a 12-page newsletter called The National Rotarian was published; it contained an essay by Paul Harris, “Rational Rotarianism,” along with club news and editorials. Of the new publication, Harris wrote: " The primary purpose of The National Rotarian is to provide a means for the exchange of ideas between Rotarians throughout the world, not to give the national officers an opportunity to express their views. These messages are not written merely to fill space; nevertheless we look forward to the day when they will be literally crowded out by surging mobs of virile Rotarian ideas struggling to be heard."

ImageToday, with Rotary’s club membership spanning more than 200 countries and geographical areas, the mandate of its publications is more complex, and more vital, than ever. The English-language flagship magazine, The Rotarian , is edited at RI headquarters in Evanston, Ill., USA, and has a circulation of about 500,000. Around the world, 31 more magazines are published in 24 other languages, for a total of 32 magazines published by the Rotary World Magazine Press, and a total circulation of about 1.25 million.

The RI Board of Directors has designated April of every year as Magazine Month. It is a time to recognize the role that our Rotary publications play in our Rotary lives – and the role that we should play in our publications. For the magazines to live up to Paul Harris’ original vision, it takes more than just an editorial staff: It also takes the good work of Rotarians. I always feel that the best part of reading any Rotary publication is the opportunity to find out what other clubs are doing. Each issue, each article, is a chance to be informed and inspired.

In an era when electronic communication seems to be everywhere, the role of the paper-and-ink magazine is still important to our organization. Rotary magazines provide us with an overview of what’s happening in different clubs and districts as well as important news and updates from RI headquarters. Even the many Rotarians who regularly visit will find something new in every issue.

It is a privilege today to be writing this message as Paul Harris once wrote his, and to see his vision of this publication – a magazine filled with the great ideas and great works of Rotarians – brought to life.

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