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January 2018 QST Debuts Fresh, New Design


QST -- ARRL's monthly member journal -- is more than a century old, and with the major exception of color printing throughout the magazine starting in December 2000, it’s remained mostly unchanged for the past couple of decades. Starting with the January 2018 issue of QST, now available to members in digital form, several noticeable changes are being made to the journal’s format, design, and size. QST Editor and Publications Manager Steve Ford, WB8IMY, said member feedback over the last few years, has hinted at “significant shifts in media preferences within the Amateur Radio community.” Extensive research undertaken late last year, “revealed an undeniable mandate for change,” Ford said.

“The majority of you told us that the ‘look’ of QST was becoming stale, that it wasn’t in step with modern publications,” Ford said in editorial remarks in the January 2018 issue. “You also told us that you desired different types of articles that spoke more to the needs of the average amateur. We’ve heard you – and we are responding.”

Ford said that starting with the January 2018 issue, QST will sport a modern, eye-catching design, and will be easier to read. The journal has been trimmed slightly to 144 pages per issue (in addition to covers), plus a smaller size to match the 8 × 10.5-inch publishing industry standard. The current QST trim size is nonstandard.

“These changes will create significant savings for us in the cost of ink and paper, and will save even more on postage, which is one of our largest expenses,” Ford explained, adding that cost savings will fund the development “of more of the types of the articles you’ve told us you want” as well as to provide more engaging social media content. In addition, fewer pages will let the editorial staff focus greater attention on each issue’s content.

Ford said League members have indicated a preference for articles that provide practical, immediately usable information, guide readers to new activities, and tell more about what radio amateurs are doing — with an emphasis on personal stories that inspire.

“While we will continue to publish QST in digital form each month, our research, and the research conducted by other publishers, has shown that a clear majority of readers still prefer books and magazines printed on paper, and so do our advertisers,” Ford said. “So, thanks to the support of our advertisers, we will continue to publish QST on paper for the foreseeable future.”

Ford said additional changes are possible. “As your needs change, we will, too,” he concluded.



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