Rotary Council on Legislation


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Why are Rotary magazine subscriptions compulsory?

First, please take on board - these answers are not my views. 
My views are irrelevant. 
My role is to be the link between Rotarians, Clubs and the District by being the District's Council of Legislation (Rotary's Parliament) Representative - District CoL Rep.
The District CoL Reps for the other 4 Districts are copied in and our role for each of our Districts is to inform and assist Rotarians and Club requests for change through the process.

To get a resolution to the Council of Legislation there needs to be support across the region.

Getting down to business, in answer to your questions:
  1. Why is, in particular, the Rotary Downunder (RDU) magazine subscription compulsory ? 
  2. Why could the subscription to RDU not be voluntary for those who wish to receive it ?
  3. RDU has surplus funds and if cashflow positive why do those funds need to be held?

Why is the RDU subscription compulsory ?

Amagazine subscription is compulsory.
You can opt out of RDU by subscribing to the Rotarian.
The Rotarian is more expensive for a digital subscription at USD 18.00 .  RDU digital is NZ$14.76 (subject to verification from RDU)
If you want to move to the Rotary magazine you have to subscribe and advise RDU.

The Rotary Code of Policies is our 'law' and sets out the answer to why a magazine is compulsory in 10 goals at Article 51.010

51.010.3. Goals of the Official Magazine
Rotary utilizes its broad policy directive to delineate and work to achieve the following goals:
1) To provide a channel of communication to disseminate and support the theme and philosophy of the president and special programs approved by the Board.
2) To promote and report on the major meetings of RI and the various official Rotary weeks and months.
3 ) To serve as an educational and program resource tool for clubs and district leaders.
4) To help build service by motivating and inspiring Rotarians through reportage of outstanding examples of activity in the five Avenues of Service by clubs and Rotarians around the world.
5) To help build international fellowship by providing Rotarians with regular and effective contact with the wide world of Rotary which lies beyond their individual clubs and by informing Rotarians of the accomplishments of their fellow Rotarians.
6) To provide a forum in which the views and concerns of Rotarians--both on Rotary and non-Rotary topics of significance--can serve to challenge, develop, and strengthen their beliefs in Rotary. In addition, to broaden the horizons of Rotarians and other readers by focusing attention upon the problems of the cultural, ethical, and moral framework within which Rotary works and serves, with the understanding that there will be no comments published, no matter by whom submitted, which might reasonably be expected by the editors to be offensive to the citizens of any nationality or be adverse to the best interests of any country.
7) To help strengthen the fabric of society by treating family-life topics, including helpful art-of-living resources, which are of interest to the official magazine's prime audience, Rotarians and their families.
8) To provide comprehensive and effective leadership in maintaining a network of Rotary communication around the world through cooperation with Rotary regional magazines, district publications, and club bulletins.
9) To illuminate and enhance the image of RI by publishing a high-quality magazine which informs and educates non-Rotarians about Rotary ideals and activities.
10) To generate reader interest by producing a magazine which is attractive, lively, topical, and relevant to Rotarians and their lives--and, therefore, in a position to compete successfully with the many demands upon readers' time.

As for RDU here is the Article that explains how that works:

51.020.1. Rotary Regional Magazine Criteria

A Rotary regional magazine exists to advance the Object of Rotary in all its aspects.

A Rotary publication that meets the following criteria may be recognized as a Rotary regional magazine (including both the print and any electronic versions):

1. The magazine serves an area of more than one district or country.

2. All aspects of the publication of the magazine are under the direct supervision of an advisory board (see section 51.020.4.

Guidelines for Rotary Regional Magazine Licensing).

3. The editorial content of the magazine is in harmony with RI policy, and at least 50 percent of the editorial content covers Rotary or Rotary-related subjects.

4. In addition to local or regional news, the magazine carries information about RI and publishes such topics and specific text as RI may request.

5. The magazine is published at least six times a year and shall be a minimum of twenty- four (24) pages per issue.

6. The overall appearance of the magazine is attractive and in keeping with the dignity and nature of Rotary, and adheres to the RI Board guidelines for reproduction of the Rotary Marks.

7. The magazine’s circulation reaches a majority of the Rotarians in the area it serves, in order to maintain the magazine’s purpose and economic viability.

8. The magazine is adequately financed without financial responsibility by RI. 9. The magazine adheres to RI’s reporting requirements, as set forth in the license agreement with RI.

10. The magazine has entered into a license agreement with RI for the publication and distribution of a magazine using the Rotary Marks and circularizing the membership.

11. The magazine shall assume responsibility for serving as the basic means of communication between RI and club members/subscribers in the region in replacing Rotary.

12. The regional magazine editors are responsible for the conduct of their respective magazines within the context of these guidelines.

13. The monthly mandatory material supplied by RI, or regionally prepared material conveying the same general theme and information, must be used by the RI-licensed Rotary regional magazines.

14. Licensed regional magazines are required to publish mandatory material, as set forth in the license agreement with RI;  .....

Why could the subscription to RDU not be voluntary for those who wish to receive it ?

The answer is in the goals (above) but in summary these are official, edited, communication toos of record and simply apart from consistent messaging,  the economics are based on compulsory subscriptions.
Points have been made in relation to membership costs, and falling membership and the need to re-examine how Rotary works.
Those points are are accepted and a reason behind the changes from District to Regions.
Those that are interested in the concept of making magazines voluntary are encouraged to post their ideas on how the RI goals (above) can be met without an official magazine covering the different regions and languages of the world for an organisation of 40,000 plus Clubs
Note this is across all Club programmes and an issue for some of those programmes such as Interact and RotaKids that do not have a magazine.

RDU has surplus funds and, if cashflow positive, why do those funds need to be held?

RDU is a Rotary owned company and has its own Board and usually has an AGM at the Zone Conference.  That is scheduled for 1 November in Queenstown.
All Rotarians in the zone can attend that Conference.
District Governors will be there to represent the views of their District.
The District Governors will be set up as 'Followers' to this Forum so posting further questions to the forum will be a way to communicate your questions and views.