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Insight: Rising to the challenge of delivering our magazine as a digital edition

In this week’s blog, Jennifer Drummond, Editor of Children in Scotland magazine, shares how the national lockdown has led to creative solutions for the magazine, and strengthened the development of our digital offering.

At Children in Scotland we have been working hard to ensure that we can continue to offer support and deliver our services throughout this difficult time, including continued production of our magazine.

Producing the magazine from home has been no easy feat. But it has meant us finding a creative solution to roadblocks in our usual processes and structures. Printing and publishing a hard-copy magazine, as we usually would, was simply no longer an option. We needed to find a way to continue to support our members and our wider network, while adapting to the ‘new normal’.

Pre-pandemic, we were in the process of reviewing our magazine offering, taking into account what we have been told by our readership in our 2019 Readership Survey in terms of the content and focus, as well as how you like to consume the magazine. Alongside this, we have also been trying to balance environmental considerations by reviewing our printing policies, paper source and packaging used.

We have been exploring digital options for our magazine for some time but, like many others, these plans have been accelerated by the global pandemic, the resulting national shutdown and a new reliance on accessing information digitally.

This is not without its challenges. However, we feel strongly that the magazine is a unique offering and essential reading for the sector, especially in the current climate. Connection, support, a platform for discussion and a reminder that we are all part of a network, working towards a common goal, is a welcome message now more than ever.

With that in mind we have worked hard behind the scenes to deliver our magazine, with the usual mix of news, features and comment, but in a way that’s appropriate to the current context. Launching our new digital version, using Page Suite, should help to alleviate some of the concerns around accessibility, with the platform already tried and tested by many organisations.

We are delighted to offer this edition to our wider network, completely free, for the first time since the magazine launched in 2001. We recognise the magazine as an important members’ benefit, so we gave members priority access to the latest issue last week. To ensure we are playing our part in keeping the whole sector connected during this time of isolation and social distancing, we've taken the decision to share the magazine publicly from today.

We know many of our readers appreciate a hard copy so we will continue to develop a robust environmental print policy for when the lockdown ends. We hope we will then be able to offer both a print and digital option, allowing you to choose how you wish to access and enjoy the publication. I am not quite ready to say goodbye to our print media just yet!

Jen
jdrummond@childreninscotland.org.uk

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