As many organizations and industries have struggled with supply chain issues, ARRL has been no exception. The supply of paper has become constrained for many reasons, and despite the best efforts of our publishing partner LSC Communications (formerly R.R. Donnelley) to mitigate those problems, getting paper for the May 2022 issue of QST was a challenge to ensure it was printed and distributed to members — and on time.
While other magazines have struggled to get their print edition delivered to subscribers, we were not going to let this be an issue for our members. As a result, we went to paper brokers to get paper, to ensure QST would be delivered. Regrettably, as you have probably seen, the paper is printed on different paper than readers are used to, and not what we would have liked. However, we are happy to know that members have been receiving their copies and enjoying them, despite the difference in this issue’s paper.
Please note that this is not a new direction for QST. We have not made a conscious decision to change the paper QST is printed on every month. Even though going to paper brokers is an expensive proposition, the ARRL Board and Staff will do what is necessary to keep the presses running for our membership journal. We are committed to ensuring that our members receive QST on a timely basis.
Even before the current supply chain problems, we were facing the reality that there are, today, fewer printers, fewer paper mills, and always-rising costs for paper, transportation, and mailing. This is not a short term problem – it will require our continued close attention as we manage the print side of our organization.
The good news is that ARRL committed to developing a parallel print-and-digital publishing competency over 10 years ago. Today, all members can access all four ARRL periodicals — QST, On the Air, NCJ, and QEX — in fully searchable digital editions. These are available to you any time and from anywhere.
David A. Minster, NA2AA
ARRL Chief Executive Officer