Professional newsletter production : the case of community economic development newsletter

The Community Economic Development Newsletter is one of the projects undertaken by students of the MSc CED Programme. It involves collecting articles, looking for printers, producing the newsletter, and carrying out a survey to get information for improving the newsletter and finally writing a final report. This final report of the Community Economic Development Newsletter covers the period from September 2003 to March 2005. The report is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with, among others, the background to the study, vision, mission and objectives of the CED Newsletter, activities in the Newsletter project, various challenges and the assignment. Chapter two is concerned with literature review. It discusses an overview of the evolution of newsletters including newsletter production process concentrating on best practices. The chapter also discusses how to write an editorial column and also includes a section on empirical review that highlights various experiences from people who have been dealing with newsletter production. This chapter ends with a review of CED newsletter related policies with a view of finding what they say about community economic development. Chapter three is a discussion of research methodology used in this study, sampling techniques, data collection and analysis. Chapter four focuses on research findings and recommendations. The major findings of the study generally indicate that the CED Newsletter is a useful tool for promoting Community Economic Development and it is good in educating people about community economic development. Another finding is that, students would like to be associated with the newsletter even after graduating by contributing articles and receiving copies of the newsletter. Major recommendations include; the need of involving students, NGOs and government institutions in contributing articles, which discuss issues related to their projects. This chapter also discusses findings and recommendations on various issues of the Newsletter such as sale of the Newsletter, impression of readers on the Newsletter, relevance of the articles, reader friendliness, shortcomings in the Newsletter and interest in contributing articles and receiving the newsletter. There are also recommendations to facilitate continuity of the newsletter by the next Newsletter group. Chapter five contains highlights on the implementation of the recommendations. These include, taking on board all the possible recommendations and professional guidance, improving the design of the front page, having more articles from students and alumni that are up to date and well selected. (Author abstract)