Our Quarterly Magazine

Man reading from printed sheet into a microphone.

At the Mid Devon Messenger, we don’t just provide our listeners with a weekly ‘newspaper’; we also produce quarterly magazines.

We think of them as spring, summer, autumn and winter magazines, and we aim to issue them by the traditional quarter days – 25 March, 24 June, 29 September and 25 December.  Occasionally a deadline may have to be relaxed, but we pull out all the stops to get the winter magazine out to our listeners before Christmas.

Each magazine comes in at an hour to two hours long.  The compiler – usually one of the editors or readers – chooses the magazine’s theme, collects (and perhaps writes) the materials to be included, forms a team of readers, and – with the help of a producer – sees the recording through to completion.

Some magazines over the years have been miscellanies of various items that have caught the compiler’s eye.  But part of the enjoyment of the job for the compiler is usually to choose a specific theme and then search high and low to find relevant material.  Books and magazines are useful sources, and used to be virtually the only ones, but the birth of the internet has been a huge blessing for compilers.

Looking back through our record books, we can see a wide variety of themes.  To name just a few from recent years, we have had Gold, Ghosts, Dance, Africa, the RAF, the 1920s, and the course of the River Exe.  There was even one called ‘Beards, Bonnets and Bicycles’!

The magazines are always a pot pourri of words and music.  They also often include poems, short stories, jokes, recipes, and interviews with local figures, listeners or MDM volunteers.

There have been many compilers over the years.  At the moment, there are just three, who share the load over the four magazines.  New volunteer compilers would be most welcome.

Keith Bush