Newsletter Editor: Background and Job Description
as of June 24, 2014
The District 43 Newsletter was originally produced as a means to inform members and groups of what was happening in the District and in Area 79 (B.C. / Yukon), on a monthly basis, by way of the District Committee Members’ (DCM) report. Although the sole purpose remains the same, many other informative reports, event announcements and meeting times and locations have been added.
Currently the Newsletter is being printed monthly by a professional company (Staples) at a discounted corporate cost of $108.86 per month for 450 copies consisting of two pages, double sided, with one of the pages being on coloured paper. The edited PDF copy is sent to the printing company via their on-line order form, with a turn-around time of approximately two days. Payment is made at the time of pick-up by way of a District 43 cheque, obtained from the District Treasurer. The collated copies are delivered to the Langley Intergroup Office where, as a courtesy, the phone volunteers fold the two pages to form a booklet and hold them at the office, ready for pick-up by the groups. The Newsletter should be ready for distribution as close to the beginning of each month as possible.
Again, the sole purpose for the Newsletter is the DCM’s report; outlining highlights of the recent District meeting and informing the members of progress within AA at the District, Area or GSO level.
Subsequently, District Committee Chairs have included their reports, such as, PI / CPC Committee (Public Information and Cooperation with the Professional Community), Grapevine Committee, Intergroup Liaison, Remote Communities Committee, Archives Committee and the Gratitude Day Committee when applicable. Upcoming Cakes, celebrating sobriety anniversaries for the upcoming month, has also become a common feature. A calendar of upcoming events in District 43 has been included, along with Events in Area 79. A Meeting Directory, as well as announcements about Meeting Changes are common inclusions. As space and content permit, Posters from upcoming Rallies, Conferences, Forums and Round Ups, pertaining to Alcoholics Anonymous, are added to the content at the Editor’s discretion. It should be noted that the spirit of ‘Cooperation rather Affiliation’ should be closely guarded regarding these Posters or Advertisements, and that a tendency to break the Sixth Tradition or the statements in the Preamble that, “AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses or opposes any causes.”, are easily succumbed to.
The District 43 Newsletter Editor is responsible to compile, create, edit, print and distribute the Newsletter in a timely manner, guarding the AA 12 Traditions, and ensuring tasteful, relevant content, produced in the most prudent manner possible. The Editor reports and is responsible to the District 43 Committee; attends and has a voice at monthly District Meetings. The Editor term is for 2 years and is an elected position by the District Committee.
The recommended qualifications are:
- to have at least two years of sobriety
- to have a working knowledge of District 43, Area 79 and GSO
- to have a thorough understanding of the 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous
- to be familiar with computer programs such as Word®, Publisher®, etc.,
- to be able to receive and send emails
- to possess excellent verbal and written communication skills
- to have the means to pick-up and distribute the copies
- to have preferably held another service position
It is not the Editor’s prerogative to incite controversy or include tasteless cartoons, editorials, articles or other matter that is not in keeping with the spiritual nature of the fellowship. The Editor is to remain neutral in all matters and simply report activities, reports, and news pertaining to District 43 in an anonymous manner. All submissions for newsletter publishing should be scrutinized for Tradition breaks, appropriate language, grammar and spelling. The Editor should always be willing to approach and take direction from the DCM or District Committee, when faced with subjective issues. It is also recommended that the incumbent Editor include a willing individual that they can mentor or call upon to take over, in case they themselves are not able to fulfill their duties that month or for an extended period.
The Editor’s position is one that allows for creativity in the layout and keeps one ‘in the middle of the herd’, protected by the fellowship by feeling a part of and involved in a meaningful way. God bless anyone who takes on this responsibility.