The American Legion Dispatch is going digital. The organization’s monthly newspaper will no longer be printed and mailed after the Dec. 15 issue. Replacing it will be a more frequent, current and timely e-mail update and a special landing page of the national website that will be dedicated to the interests of American Legion post officers.
The new landing page will feature guides and materials to help officers manage their posts, fulfill consolidated post reports, increase membership, submit award entries and communicate with national headquarters. To help readers understand the new format, here are some questions and answers about the coming transition:
Question: Why is The American Legion no longer going to print and mail the Dispatch?
Answer: Like other publishers, The American Legion is looking to use its digital assets to provide high-quality information faster and more frequently. By taking away the time it takes to print and distribute a paper edition, the Legion will be able to publish and deliver news and information, as well as provide interactive forms with direct connections to national, quickly and efficiently.
Question: Will the digital Dispatch still have the same kinds of stories and photos?
Answer: All the stories and information Dispatch readers have enjoyed – Dateline Capitol Hill, Taps, the National Adjutant’s Message, and others will still be offered in the digital format, as will photos from national Legion meetings and events. The electronic format, however, allows the organization to present galleries of multiple photos, rather than just one to go along with a story. The format also invites comments and interactivity with the reader so that ideas can be shared.
Question: How will I receive the online edition of the Dispatch?
Answer: Department leadership and post leadership will receive an e-newsletter alerting them that new Dispatch material is ready to read on the new Legion.org landing page. The e-newsletter will function the same way that the weekly American Legion Online Update e-newsletter does, providing a roundup of top headlines with clickable links to the actual stories.
Question: I am a paid subscriber. Will I still have to pay for the Dispatch?
Answer: No, the online Dispatch will be free of charge to anyone who registers for it. Subscribers will have complete access to the Dispatch online. Those who paid beyond December 2012 will be reimbursed.
Question: When does this change begin?
Answer: The new digital Dispatch will debut after the Fall National Executive Committee meetings in October. The printed edition will continue to appear in mailboxes through the December issue.
Question: How often will the digital Dispatch come out?
Answer: The digital Dispatch will come out at least once a month. However, after important meetings and events, special Dispatch e-newsletters will be distributed, and the landing page will be updated continuously. Special issues, for instance, will be published immediately after the Fall Meetings, Washington Conference, Spring Meetings, National Convention and other activities.
Question: How will I know when the electronic Dispatch has been updated?
Answer: Go to http://www.legion.org/subscribe to sign up to receive the e-newsletters. From there, you can choose to receive an email link for the electronic Dispatch. The e-newsletter will be published with fresh links on a monthly basis and other times (such as Spring and Fall meetings) as warranted.
Question: Do you have plans to eliminate the print magazine and offer only a digital alternative?
Answer: No. We know our readers and advertisers value the monthly American Legion Magazine in its printed version and plan to continue mailing it out.