By Wies Schuiringa, New South Wales Regional Meeting
This issue of The Australian Friend will appear experimentally on the web. You won’t find it using a search engine (even Google doesn’t know about it yet) but type ‘http://olaf.yerin. info’ into your web browser to preview the general layout and look proposed for The Australian Friend next year; though not all features are there yet.
Publishing on the web offers a way forward to continue our 130 year-old tradition of publishing grounded in Quaker values, testimonies and practice while opening The Australian Friend to extended content, new features and wider readership.
Web publication is a way to keep The Australian Friend alive because we can use many volunteers across Australia to lighten the work load, and we can reduce costs. Our content will not be limited by a fixed number of pages and we can include colour photos, video clips and sound bites. Readers will be able to print or save articles, and share them by email or Facebook.
We are planning a new section in The Australian Friend called Quaker Voice, which will publish news and commentary by Quakers and Quaker-minded people around the world, who may be in trouble spots and who have a different perspective on world events from the tabloid media. We have potential correspondents from places such as Myanmar, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, who are keen to publish a Quaker perspective on events where they live. We hope that Quaker Voice will attract a diverse international readership, and become a powerful outreach for Quakers.
Because time is of the essence in news and commentary, we plan to publish articles for Quaker Voice as they receive editorial approval. The Australian Friend on the Web will be a public expression of our testimonies, including integrity, truth and simplicity. All contributions to The Australian Friend and Quaker Voice will be edited to ensure we maintain the high quality and ethical content that The Australian Friend has provided in the past.
Comments and discussion will be automatically screened to exclude spam and strictly moderated according to published guidelines.
In January 2012 Yearly Meeting will consider a proposal to continue publishing The Australian Friend on the web. If approved, each reader may choose to read articles on the website, receive them by email, or print articles to take and read. Friends without good internet access may request a printed magazine.
Many hands make light work. Friends of The Australian Friend hope to share the production of The Australian Friend Online among many volunteers, and to buddy-up volunteers to share roles. Wherever you live, you can participate in editing, proof reading, IT support, multi-media support, writing, photography, poetry, film-making and so on.
To volunteer or ask for further information either join the Friends of The Australian Friend email list with a request to au.ianhughes(at)gmail.com or contact: Wies Schuiringa email wiesschuiringa(at)hotmail.com or phone 02 98082227.