The April edition of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) magazine the Journalist is available only as a downloadable pdf – a decision criticised by some, who argue that a dedicated website for the publication is needed.
However, according to an introduction to a feature in the current issue, there are plans afoot to launch such a site: “The Journalist Editorial Advisory Board is already working on a plan to go online with a site — a proper website, not pdfs — launching later this year. The relationship to the printed magazine — and to the union’s official website — are under discussion.”
In the feature, Chris Wheal, freelance journalist and chair of the NUJ Professional Training Committee, says a multimedia website for the union could demonstrate its ability to do multimedia content ‘in a planned, well thought-out and funded way’. Wheal also suggests that such a site might require a full-time editor’s post with less responsibility for union duties.
Reactions to the PDF version featured alongside this article show little support for an PDF-only Journalist. “This completely undermines our faith in the newspaper and magazine business. Many members will not bother to access the NUJ site,” says one commenter, while another suggests the experiment will ‘damage links with members and decrease their support’.
This month’s trial has certainly provided some food for thought, but what’s the answer: pdf, hybrid or online-only?