By J.A. Donoghue, Editor-in-Chief, AeroSafety World
With this edition of AeroSafety World, the magazine now has been in existence for five full years. To review for those new to the party, ASW was created to consolidate the subject matter covered by seven publications that Flight Safety Foundation produced until 2006, and that can still be found on our Web site as archived resources. The idea behind its creation was that ASW should be easier to read and easier on the eye, attracting a larger readership while retaining the serious attitude toward its subject matter that was the hallmark of the retired publications. In that, I think, we have been successful.
Another mission assigned to the magazine was to attract paid advertising to defer the not-inconsiderable cost of producing the publication. In that, we have not been as successful. But, in order to be more attractive to advertisers and to adhere to the Foundation’s charter of spreading safety information far and wide, it was decided to provide a free digital version of the publication via our Web site. This gained ASW a wide readership, but still we have been unable to attract sufficient advertising. This was caused, in part, by the fact that while the editorial talent associated with the magazine is excellent, the same can’t be said of our publishing knowledge and experience. While editorial talent is essential, and obvious, for any publication to be successful, less obvious is the amount of publishing expertise required, and for that failing I am chiefly responsible.
One more thing: Due to the long succession of major FSF projects produced by the Foundation’s Publications Department — such as the recent Approach and Landing Accident Reduction Tool Kit Update — our magazine schedule has slipped. Most of you will be getting this June issue in late July, and that is unacceptable.
So, to correct these problems, and more, several things have happened or are going to happen.
For starters, we now are selling subscriptions to the printed version of ASW on our Web site, US$60 for subscribers in the United States, US$80 for all others, the difference in price strictly due to postage charges.
Second, we have enlisted the experience of a skilled aviation media firm, Emerald Media, to sell our print and Web advertising and to market the Foundation’s efforts. Associated with this change, you soon will see a reader survey in which we will be asking what you like and don’t like in the magazine. Please let us know what you think.
And third, the next issue of ASW will be dated the July/August issue to help us catch up with the calendar. Those of you who have annual subscriptions, mostly through bulk purchases by some airlines, will have your subscriptions extended one additional month into the next year.
Selling subscriptions is something I’ve always wanted to do, believing there are still many advantages to reading a printed publication but until now lacking the software to make it happen.
There may be some other changes in the future as we at Flight Safety Foundation — and our products — evolve to account for the realities we all face. However, I promise to remain dedicated to giving our readers the most thorough and timely safety information available.