letter from the editor

Letter From the Editor | Welcome to Our New Digital Format

By Julie Lays | June 2020 | State Legislatures Magazine

After 45 years of producing State Legislatures, the national magazine of state policy and politics, NCSL has decided to adopt a new print schedule of two special editions a year along with an upgraded, interactive online-only version.

julie lays ncsl Many of our readers enjoy getting the magazine in print, sharing its content with colleagues and using ideas from it to become better legislators and better staff. You’ve told us so through surveys, focus groups and in person. But many of you have also told us you no longer get your news from print; you are online readers only. And your numbers are increasing.

So, after much consideration, we've made the decision to publish the magazine in an enhanced, frequently updated digital edition at ncsl.org/magazine. We will no longer print bimonthly editions, though we plan to print two special keepsake editions annually, in January and July. 

COVID-19 helped spur the format change. We had just gone to press with the March/April print issue when the gravity of the pandemic was becoming apparent. Not writing about the crisis for another two months in our world of instant news was out of the question.

So, we focused on producing a digital edition and posted it a couple of weeks ahead of when our printed magazine would have arrived in your mailboxes. Printing and mailing a magazine not only takes time but is also expensive. With states facing extraordinary financial hardships now and in the foreseeable future, NCSL felt it was time to make the leap online.

We hope you’ll read the magazine as you always have—looking for ideas to improve the lives of your constituents and tips to enhance your skills. We will continue to offer you unbiased, balanced articles on policy trends, hot topics and the people who make the legislative institution run smoothly.

The exciting news is that we will be adding new content daily and will offer interactive features you can find only in a digital format: polls, slideshows, short videos, interactive maps and graphics and more. Now, please, go ahead a take a look—and, as always, let us know what you think

Julie Lays is the editor of State Legislatures magazine.

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