I enjoy reading my monthly copy of QST- it may not be as deep as some would like, and for some it might be too obtuse, but I’d like to think that, over all, it’s a pretty good publication that is put out monthly for the benefit of membership.
Remind me to tell you some time why they no longer have an “Op/Ed” section and now instead call it “Personal Visions.”
In any case, I read it, cover to cover, and enjoy sending my copy to other folks who aren’t members. I recently have encountered a colleague at work who is interested in getting licensed, and so I have been giving them to him when I am done. He seems to enjoy it, too, which is probably a good sign that it is both well put together and something that is approachable by those who might have an interest in such.
That said, the columns are shrinking in word count and the adverts are increasing. We are probably getting a smaller page count magazine which has more adverts, which of course, is what helps to pay the bills. I don’t take issue with the way in which the ARRL is handling the change from a paper to digital society; but I won’t ever give up my paper copy- that is, until they cease publishing them.
One of my favorite parts is reading the classifieds. I don’t know why that is or why I’m drawn to it. It has the usual litany of people advertising their wares, though there is the occasional new entry that may spark my interest. One of those I’ve recently seen is along the same lines of the scam that WB2JKJ runs about donating used radios to be, well, who knows what, really? But this particular one, Ham Radio Kids, is more pernicious, because it appears to have all the hallmarks of the same sort of scam- donate equipment and money for children!- but in this case, it isn’t clear that it’s just to line the pockets of the organizers (which may or may not really be true of WB2JKJ, but many people on QRZ suspect that is what he is really doing), rather, it is an organization that would like to promote creationism in the classroom.
I don’t know how a science and technologically minded organization such as the ARRL can in good faith accept advertising dollars from an organization which does not wish to teach science, but instead wishes to teach dogma that passes for thinking critically about the world in which we live. There is an undercurrent in amateur radio today- perhaps more than just an undercurrent- that is joining the ranks- the preppers and the homeschooling, fear minded set. I, no more than anyone else, have no idea what the future holds for amateur radio; but I do know that teaching creationism, which isn’t science or technology, should not be part of the program that the ARRL should be associated with.
Vote with your dollars. When my membership is up in a couple of years, I’m going to think long and hard about renewal in an organization that would instead prefer to be a whore for such a minor sum of classified dollars and appears to turn a blind eye towards those that seemingly are charity in name only and who also gives space to a group who espouses a discredited, worthless and inaccurate view of the world.