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Number 1 Shimbun

Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor

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This promises to be a year of big change for the FCCJ. We are scheduled to move into our new location near the end of the year. With that, we will have a whole new look and feel that arguably will better fit what journalism is about in these changing times.

But this message is not about the move, it's about the No. 1 Shimbun – which turns 50 in September. As you, our loyal readers, may have noticed, the club’s magazine has undergone some changes over the past six months. During that time, we had temporary help while the search for a replacement for our former long-time designer went on. As a result, there were some changes to the look and layout that were a bit too different for some. We have listened to your feedback and have taken action.

We are pleased to announce that we have retained the talents of Kohji Shiiki, an award-winning art director and designer, to lead the way in bringing a modern, yet familiar, look to our beloved publication. For nine years until recently, Shiiki was art director of Metropolis – a magazine known for its outstanding design. In addition to his design work for International Press and various other print publications, Shiiki is also a talented photographer and videographer.

We will not stop at changing the look. Content is king as they say. We have been trying various types of articles and listening to feedback. And as expected, it's much like asking a room full of people for the perfect pizza topping; no two people can agree. Some people like the stories relating to the past, others are tired of memory lane. Still, one common area of interest is in articles related to journalism and club news.

While we focus on improving the publication to better reflect the interest of our members, another area we will focus on is online. Let us be clear that we are not at all abandoning the print edition, which remains a top priority. Rather we are looking to vastly improve the website to better complement the magazine. One Club member told us bluntly that the website looks like a blog designed 20 years ago. Rest assured, by the end of this year we will have a modern website that will be worthy of our Club.

Finally, the reason the magazine has been able to exist for nearly five decades is because of the incredible volunteer efforts of our members. In a troubling sign of the times, though, I’m sorry to say that fewer and fewer members are showing much interest. And so, I ask you, the membership, please do email us and offer us your time. Volunteer to be on the committee. Pitch a fresh story. Share (with your employer’s permission) a relevant story or photograph that you’ve already sent out to your regular fan base. Give words of encouragement or scorn us for our mistakes. Whatever the case (and pardon me while I adjust my stovepipe hat), always remember that the No. 1 Shimbun is of the members, by the members and for the members.

-Albert Siegel

Published in: April 2018

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