CAL – Guidelines for Newsletter Editors (Item # G-21)

Happy face among sad faces

WHAT I LEARNED: 1. For some reason I thought newsletters were only for Districts, but apparently they can also be for Areas & Al-Anon Information Services.

2. Reading this item made me miss our newsletter for District 6.  We voted to discontinue it in place of our website, however according to this guideline, there’s a lot of info that usually appears in a newsletter that I usually don’t see on Al-Anon websites.  I imagine it has something to do with that whole anonymity thing!  Capture

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G-21 - Rev 2014 with highlights

**UPDATE (5/5/17): This guideline was revised in late 2014 & the changes are substantial especially in the “Traditions & Policies” section.  Listed below are a few update examples:

      • A lot of references to mailing out newsletters has been replaced with emailing them out.
      • There’s almost entirely new text under the “Traditions & Policies” section, so it looks like some “filler” ideas from the “When Space Allows” section were removed because they ran out of space — ironic. 😆
      • A reference to the newsletter “Inside Al-Anon Xtra” has been replaced with: “Inside Al-Anon Family Groups.”  (See my review of item # P-29 for more about this.)
      • The World Service Office’s (WSO’s) website address (www.al-anon.alateen.org) now appears for the first time on this guideline at the bottom of page 2. 

Overall, the tone of this update sounds more positive than the 2000 version.  Instead of describing what cannot be done on a newsletter, the 2014 version seems to focus more on what can be done.  My favorite line is: “Include a little humor!” 😄

If you’d like to see all the changes that were made, I’ve highlighted them on this 2014 Version of G-15.

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G-21 - Rev 2021 with highlights

***UPDATE (10/13/21): This guideline has been recently revised in 2021 & similar to the 2014 version, most of the revisions appear in the “Traditions & Policies” section.  Listed below are a few update examples:

      • Al-Anon’s official corporate name “Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.” now appears on both reprint permissions.
      • The word “district” is now capitalized.
      • The words “web site” & “on-line” now appear as one word: “website” & “online.”
      • A reference to the “Members’ Web sites” (yes there were 2 sites back in the day: “www.al-anon.alateen.org & www.al-anon.alateen.org/members”) has been replaced with the World Service Office’s shortened website address: al-anon.org – without the “www” prefix oh by the way – & it’s a clickable link!!!
      • Both the shortened WSO website & the email address (wso@al-anon.org) now appear for the first time on this guideline at the bottom of page 2. 

I’m a little surprised that the (newly re-named) electronic newsletter “In The Loop” was not mentioned in this update & it’s also interesting that it looks like on the other guidelines revised in 2021, there has been an effort to switch the word “e-mail” to the non-hyphenated “email” but that didn’t happen on this particular guideline.  Maybe that will be on a future update!

If you’d like to see all the changes that were made, I’ve highlighted them on this 2021 Version of G-21.  And a clean, unmarked electronic copy of this new 2021 version can be downloaded directly from the World Service Office website by clicking this link: G-21 Guideline

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****BONUS CAL QUESTION: Per the brief history of Al-Anon on al-anon.org:

“The Policy Committee decided in 1967 that ‘Headquarters’ should be called the World Service Office (WSO).”

However, in what 2 places in our Legacies (the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, 12 Concepts, & 5 Warranties), is the term “World Service Office” & a reference to the corporate name “Headquarters” specifically mentioned?  (Hint: click here to see #8 & #11.)

Questions or comments are always welcome!

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