News - Witch Ale

John Ingham

The printed edition of Witch Ale, the popular newsletter of East Lancashire CAMRA, folded at the end of 2017 with Issue 89 being the final magazine. It was a shame as Witch Ale had been freely distributed throughout East Lancashire’s pubs and clubs for many years. Decreasing advertising revenue was the chief cause – something that is being reflected at both National and local level within the printed newspaper industry. For anyone with an interest in reviving the printed edition of the Witch Ale, see the job role below and get in touch in John Ingram for more details.

Purpose of the role is to manage the publication of a free Branch Magazine which promotes both local and national CAMRA campaigning issues and events. Many Branches outsource the production of their magazine and if your Branch has done this then some of the Key Activities listed below are not relevant.

Key Activities
• To negotiate and liaise with printers to agree budget production costs and timetables for printing.
• To agree a production timetable within the Branch, including agreed pagination, and source articles from both Branch members and further afield.
• To oversee the sale of advertising, preferably through a separately appointed Advertising Manager, who might be a non-CAMRA third party.
• To edit copy received including advertising to fit the content into the agreed pagination.
• To oversee distribution of the newsletter to pubs, preferably through the appointment of a separate Distribution Manager.
• To send copies of the magazine to the Regional Director (4 copies), CAMRA Head Office and one copy to the Legal Deposit Office (Serials), The British Library, Boston Spa, Wetherby, LS23 7BY, please note that PDFs are not acceptable and only hard copies should be posted. If, in the future, your Branch decides not to continue publishing magazines, then again, The Legal Deposit Office (Serials) should be written to confirming that the publication has ceased to be published and the last publication date.
• Provide a copy of each edition to the branch webmaster for the website in an agreed format.

Code of conduct
• To ensure printed copy maintains the integrity of CAMRA and refrain from putting forward any personal points of view contrary to CAMRA’s policy or which might bring the Campaign into disrepute.
• To be careful in the use of language (words such as “boozing” or “sloshed” are inappropriate) and never use obscenities.
• To ensure the guide follows CAMRA Policy as set out in Paragraph 5 of the Internal Policy Document.
• Do not “wash CAMRA internal dirty linen” in public.
• Never be libellous; if in doubt leave it out.

Time Commitment
• This role can take up as much time as you are prepared to give. Much depends on how many issues the Branch has decided to print annually; the size of the magazine and how helpful Branch members are in supplying copy etc. If taking over from an existing incumbent, then ask them. If this is to be a totally new publication, seek advice from the Regional Director and/or a neighbouring branch. It is also affected by whether a decision has been made to outsource production. The latter option will reduce the time commitment.
• Attendance at local branch meetings is required.

Skills etc needed
• Good writing skills
• Good interpersonal skills
• Access to a computer and the internet
• Ability to manage deadlines and budgets and the various parties involved in the project. Local Magazine Editor
• Depending on how production is managed, knowledge of publishing packages which turn copy into professional-looking content.