These have been extraordinary times, but, unlike other times of international and national crises, the pandemic has touched each and everyone of us in some shape or form, and will force big changes going forward.
Deposits has always been a not-for-profit undertaking and has run at a loss for several years. This has getting worse, as people moved naturally to digital. In addition, the cost of print and postage constantly increased. Therefore, sadly, the printed version has become no longer viable. We always ran it as a project subsidised by UKGE, but had not planned to move away from print for another two years, when we would have plenty time to give warning and provide a plan of action for our readers.
For the team at Deposits, as the pandemic progressed, running this as a ‘project’ in our spare time proved impossible. In particular, I (Alister, Production Director) found it impossible to find time to work on the issue when so many of the core staff at UKGE were in isolation and home schooling became an additional, time-consuming task. Having caught Covid-19 myself, along with my family, this put Deposits back by many months at a time when it was already delayed. Despite adding an extra issue by extending extra subscriber months, we were already behind and the remaining print subscribers were few compared to those who moved to digital.
Jon had already finished work on Issue 61, with several articles that were ‘good to go’, but the printed edition was holding us back. With no known end to the crisis, with the magazine printing costing so much and another annual price increase for print and postage, it was decided we had no option other than to release future articles in digital form on Deposits Online in a rolling system and end the print edition. When we contacted you, a tiny handful of subscribers have requested refunds, but the vast majority were happy to continue with digital, for which we are thankful. Subscribers can also opt for articles to appear in their inbox, which will be released regularly rather than quarterly in the print magazine.
In this respect, I have moved to the position of Technical Controller, Jon has taken over as Editor and Alison will oversee Social Networking. This means we can now be far more current with news and events and, in the future, will include videos.
It is a shame it had to be rushed but, doing it as a non-profit project with such a small team, there really wasn’t any other way. However, we believe that this represents an opportunity for Deposits. Jon has a produced an editorial (A message from the editor), which I hope you will read, setting out what we are doing in both the short and medium term, and invites your comments.
So, a big apology from the Deposits Team: we regret not being able to work with readers and authors, and warn of the changes. It has been a very challenging time, but we think we have done the right thing and have safeguarded Deposits for the future. And we believe that exciting times are ahead.
And many thanks for your continued support, now and in the future.
Technical Controller – Deposits