A WIDE GAMUT OF VOICES
This is SHOWSIGHT’s 28th year, its third under new ownership. In the last couple of years, we have rebranded the magazine, added more employees to serve you better and welcomed more contributing editors to give you the content that interests you most. Our team consists of leaders who’ve been with us from the start, a few people who’ve been here for at least ten years, and several more recent additions. While things seem to be trending in a positive trajectory, we still have a long way to go towards become a large media channel that will help maintain the sport’s current values and help with growing the fancy by bringing in more people with the same goals that we all share. Though some fanciers today may feel that our community is falling apart, the numbers don’t support this claim. For example, some say that dog show entries are down. Yes, they might well be down for individual shows, but the reason for this is because there are simply more shows than ever. The overall entries are there. We just have more choices. It’s the same in every industry. In 1990, if you wanted to spend $20,000 on a vehicle you had few choices. Today you have 100 different models that are within this price range.
During the past three years we have been researching what our community needs and wants. As we’ve been bringing you a 300-to-400-page magazine every single month, we’ve also started to identify certain trends. During the first year, we considered show entry numbers and the behavior of fanciers within each breed. Then, over the past 15 months, we asked questions to help us come up with a game plan for helping our community thrive. We are grateful for the many thoughtful responses that we’ve received. Your comments have allowed us to improve our publication, month after month. Thanks to your participation, we have a great idea about what still needs to be done.
Last year, I set out what felt like an ambitious—but reasonable—goal for SHOWSIGHT: To have the percentage of editorial by breeders be in proportion to that of judges and contributors. As you can see from the pages in this issue, we have achieved that goal and more. Breeder, Owner, Professional, Owner-Handler, Junior Handler and Judge are all well represented. We are all one family and everyone should be given a platform. Currently, we are working with both professional and junior handlers to get their stories and opinions heard. We’ve also reached out to smaller clubs and to people with underrepresented voices. We want to encourage novice writers by sending personal responses to submissions when we can and sometimes by actively soliciting work from individual writers whose work we admire. Thank goodness, so far everyone has been more than helpful to get information out about the state of their breed and their club. All this work leads to publishing more voices which, in turn, shows community members that we value them and want to include them in our worldview. We’re building relationships of trust with some amazing people!
Here at SHOWSIGHT, we’re working with a new mentality. We aren’t here just to fill up a magazine every month. We want to do so much more. We like to respond to each and every email that comes in and make sure to ask if there is anything that we can be doing better. Once we are given feedback, we instantly share it with our staff and with many readers. If the majority agrees with the suggestion—and if it is positive—we implement it. There is not a month that goes by that we don’t receive hundreds of emails, texts and phone calls complimenting us on a job well done—and sometimes suggesting how we need to make improvements. We welcome both. We understand that although we may fall short of achieving our goals at times, it won’t stop us from striving for excellence.
Our philosophy is simple: We rely on you. At the end of the day, our duty is to give you what you need and what you want to read. So, please do not hesitate to send us your opinions and requests. We’ve revised our submission guidelines to make them more welcoming and inclusive. In fact, we’ve recently revised and streamlined our submissions guidelines for a second time. Negative stories may need to be published once in a while if we think they will help everyone in the long run, but we try to stay away from negativity as much as possible. We’d rather invest in stories that educate and entertain. So, please feel free to contact us with your ideas. (Our staff isn’t scared of the work and that’s what we’re here for!) I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that we are always looking to add to our talented team. If you, or someone you know, has a great work ethic and shares our passion to help see that our community thrives, please contact us.
So, what’s next? Well, we will continue to work hard to broaden the sport’s appeal through consistent representation through our stories and our artwork. We will focus on bringing in an even wider gamut of voices. The result will make SHOWSIGHT a better magazine for everyone. Our future issues will demonstrate this. But our work doesn’t have a final goal—it’s an ongoing practice. We’re constantly striving to improve, and we have our work cut out for us.
A Message From the Publisher
AJ ARAPOVIC, OWNER & PUBLISHER
THE DOG SHOW MAGAZINE