What's Brewing, the newspaper for CAMRA members landed on the doormat yesterday. The paper was relaunched last month with a quarterly supplement, "Beer" and a welcome change it was. Of course, there are always going to be some teething problems with something so fresh and new, but it was a step in the right direction making CAMRA campaigning very readable.
The Beer supplement used to be a monthly paper, now it is a quarterly magazine, so we now have a lone What's Brewing 2 months out of 3 and as a result it appears very thin.
Because we were all together sharing news at GBBF, much of the content also seems a little old - a factor of the lead times required for printing.
Generally speaking the layout and presentation of the paper is much improved, with better use of colour and captions giving a more up-to-date appearance.
I am cautious to criticise something which is obviously a work in progress but most of the important campaigning information remains unreadable. I know I am a forty something, speccy old git, but the only branch diaries (What's On) that I can read are for the Lesbian & Gay Real Ale Drinkers and the Young Members Group - neither of which I am eligible to join.
We are, of course, a victim of our own success with 200 or so branches and 150+ beer festivals each year and space is limited - the previous layout had similar problems - but we have to get this right.
2008 is supposed to be the year to activate our membership. That is hard to do if they cannot read what they are supposed to be doing.
The editorial apologises for unreadable parts in last month's issue and promises a tweak in design and requests feedback.
Feedback : the tweak has not worked yet for me !