Newsletter of the Meher Baba Association
Guidelines for editors and designers
The Newsletter of the Meher Baba Association exists as a channel for exchanging news, impressions and experiences of life with Meher Baba, both recorded history and current experiences of His lovers. It is possibly the most significant and valuable channel for keeping a widespread community of diverse members in touch, and is highly valued by all subscribers.
The aim of the Board has been to attempt to enable the Newsletter to be produced at cost, not profit, and small price rises to subscriptions are made only in line with overheads. In addition there has always been a discretionary allowance made to send the Newsletter free of charge to various individuals in cases of need, to people new to Baba, or to contributors who have been especially generous supplying photographs or other support to the Newsletter. The free Newsletter that is generally offered is the PDF version which is produced at no cost to the MBA.
The Newsletter may include Baba's own words, those of His Mandali and close disciples or those of His lovers, whether prose or poetry. It may also include photographs of Meher Baba or images related to His life and His contacts with people and places. It welcomes original artwork that can be readily translated into print format. The Newsletter has been a channel for people to express thoughts and ideas about life on the spiritual path without censure, but with awareness that Baba encouraged his lovers to stay clear of politics.
The Newsletter also serves as a channel for the elected Board of the Meher Baba Association to share news with the Baba community, and invite consultation and inform of any changes in policy or practice. There will be a regular two page letter from the Chairs for these purposes, and a page for book news to promote the sale of new titles and the MBA bookstore. There will be notifications of upcoming events such as Sahavas and seminars and subscription reminders. The Board will also publish contact details of Board members and other relevant contacts, both national and international, that enable the community to maintain connections with the worldwide Baba family. As it has overall responsibility for the Newsletter, the Board also exercises oversight over the final edit in order to support consistency in format and editorial standards. The final edit will therefore be sent to the co-chairs prior to printing.
Historically the Newsletter has been circulated 3 or 4 times per year, thus allowing members to keep abreast of current activities in the community. The editor or editorial team, are volunteer workers who undertake to gather submissions from the community and the Board, and determine the presentation of that material in what they consider is a balanced and pleasing format. They will liaise with contributors around such issues as word count, spelling corrections etc. and will not adjust content or meaning without prior discussion, which will be approached tactfully and respectfully. The editor will send a draft presentation to all contributors for approval before the final copy is presented.
Once the final copy has been approved, the editor will undertake to get the Newsletter printed in the most economical way possible within the existing budget that has been accrued from members. The Board is working to establish renewable subscriptions for members so that distribution to members becomes easier. Mailing of the printed copies is generally carried out with the help of other members. The emailed copy shall be the responsibility of the editor using the newsletter email address.
The role of Editor is one of responsibility and trust, and the community values the love and effort that has been given by members over the years to this demanding task. The editor should always seek the support of the Board whenever the role becomes onerous or they become uncertain about any content that has been submitted, to ensure they do not feel they are working in isolation.
It is the responsibility of the Board to set the subscription fees and request payment from subscribers, (not the editor's). Subscription enquiries received by the editor shall be passed to the database administrator. The database administrator and editor shall liaise regarding the amount of copies to be printed each edition. The Board undertakes to make payment to the editor for the printed copies and any reasonable expenses for the team, such as ink cartridges and paper, as swiftly as possible once the designer/editor's invoices are received, along with the appropriate receipts.