outnorthwest bows out after 14 years

Publish Date: 24/03/2014

This week see’s the publication of Issue 121 of The Lesbian & Gay Foundation’s community magazine outnorthwest. Sadly, this will be the final issue. After 14 years, and 121 issues, we’ve had to make the difficult decision to end the magazine.

Paul Martin, OBE, Chief Executive of The LGF, explains why:

“outnorthwest magazine has gone through many incarnations during its fourteen years of existence, but at its heart our goal has always been to inform, educate, and celebrate the lesbian, gay and bisexual communities here in the North West. I’d like to think that we have succeeded in that quest.

The decision to close the magazine hasn’t been an easy one to make, but we know that the way people access and use information has changed dramatically since 2000, the year that outnorthwest was first published. Today, we are all accessing information instantly on our mobile phones, and online through a wide variety of communication channels. A bi-monthly, print magazine simply can’t compete in responding to, or delivering ‘immediate’ messages.

The funding landscape has changed too, and we have a duty to make sure that we spend public money with due care and diligence.  The LGF, like many organisations, is experiencing significant cuts to our funding and it’s important for a charity like The LGF to carefully target our communications to where we believe they will have the maximum impact.

This is why we will continue to prioritise our focus on direct contact through projects such as community engagement, outreach, netreach and we will be seeking to develop more targeted digital communications for our community over the coming months.

Of course, The LGF will continue to supply vital news and information to you as best as we can, and as often as our reduced resources will allow. Our website is updated daily, as are our Facebook page and Twitter feed. You can also sign up to our weekly e-bulletin, which contains all the information you would have found in outnorthwest and is delivered straight into your inbox every Tuesday. Sign-up today at lgbt.foundation/register

Throughout that time outnorthwest has been edited by Grahame Robertson who has been with the magazine man and boy for all of its fourteen years. I would like to pay tribute to him for his incredibly loyal and inspirational service to his readers, without you Grahame outnorthwest would never have achieved a fraction of what it has done. For your service to your community we thank you deeply. We should also recognise that outnorthwest is going out on a high by recently winning the inaugural Co-Operative Respect Network’s ‘Loved by You’ Award as the 2013 Regional LGBT Publication of the Year.

We feel justifiably proud to have delivered you this magazine for the last fourteen years, and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to outnorthwest the majority of whom have been volunteers, as well as to those who have helped promote, distribute, and stock it.

Finally, to you our readers, thank you all very much. It has been an honour and a privilege.”

Grahame Robertson, editor of outnorthwest adds: “I’m unspeakably proud of everything this magazine has accomplished over the last 14 years. We’ve campaigned, reported, celebrated and given a voice to those who might not otherwise have had one. We’ve made a differrence. I know this because you’ve told me. For that I’ll always be grateful. I’m also very grateful for everyone who has contributed to the production of outnorthwest over the last 14 years. Finally, I want to thank every single person who ever picked up a copy of outnorthwest. If anything you read in those pages made you stop and think, get involved, get tested, or even get angry - then we’ve achieved everything we set out to do.”

The final issue of outnorthwest is published on Wednesday 26th March, and features a souvenir ‘wraparound’ cover featuring all 120 covers.