Thanks for feedback on community pubs!
We asked for your opinion, and you gave it to us. And now it’s time for us to act on it.
From September to November, you had a chance to fill out an online readership survey that focused on our community products – Stripes Japan, Stripes Okinawa, Stripes Korea, Stripes Guam, Japan.Stripes.com, Okinawa.Stripes.com, Korea.Stripes.com, Guam.Stripes.com, Annual Manual, Best of the Pacific, Destination Paradise, the Stripes Printshop and many more.
It is our belief that these community publications and websites belong to you. We want you to take ownership of them. So, we were very happy that so many of you from across the Pacific took time to provide us feedback, which we will use to better serve you. By the way, the following five won Exchange gift cards as part of our Stripes Pacific Reader Survey 2014 promotion: Kristin Cartledge from Osan Air Base in South Korea; Robert Case and Christine Crockett from Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan; Justina Aganon from Guam; and Francis Maher from Yokota Air Base in Japan.
The biggest thing that stood out was how many of you were not aware of all the products we provide. And that’s definitely something we need to work on. No matter how informative and useful our community products, they do you no good if you don’t know about them. First of all, we have weekly community papers in Japan, Okinawa and Guam. In Korea, the community paper hits the streets every two weeks. All four areas have companion websites.
For those 30 percent of you who did know we have the community websites, check them out. All four offer thousands of stories about travel, restaurants, culture and on- and off-base activities. In fact, if you have a smartphone or iPad, use the QR code on this page to get you to Okinawa.Stripes.com.
“I always check the Stripes Okinawa website to inform Marines of new things to do on island or show them places to eat …” wrote a Marine from Okinawa. We’re glad to hear that, and it’s the reason why we developed these community products, which supplement the Stars and Stripes daily newspaper and Stripes.com, great resources for the latest military happenings. For years, people requested more “local” news and stories about culture and travel. So we launched these community products, kicking off with Guam in 2005. Stripes Korea and Korea.Stripes.com, established in May 2012, are the youngsters on the streets.
Many of you asked if you can submit stories. Yes! You can! Honestly, it’s the only way we can continue to make these community products work. So we rely heavily on the military community, PAOs, base leadership and organizations, as well as various websites and businesses.
You can send your stories, photos or suggestions to Okinawa@Stripes.com.
We are all about giving you, our readers, a voice, not only in the community papers and websites, but also in special supplements and magazines that we publish throughout the year. More than half of those surveyed didn’t know that we produced magazines.
Our Destination Paradise magazine, which comes out each year in February, features stories by our readers, who share their “piece of paradise.” If you have a story to tell, send it with photos to Paradise@Stripes.com and we’ll publish it in the mag, as well as in the weeklies and on the community websites. You have until Jan. 9, so get writing. By the way, this year we’ll have some stories from our friends at AFN. Take a look at Page 3 for a sampling of where DJs go to have fun.
In June, our Best of the Pacific mag hits the streets. But we need you to vote for your favorite restaurants, base services, places to travel, etc. The voting opens Jan. 6. All you’ll need to do is log onto Okinawa.Stripes.com and look for the promo box that will take you to the voting. When you vote, you have the opportunity to comment on why you made your selection. That comment could very well end up in the magazine. BOP is not about Stripes telling you what’s best, it’s military community members telling one another. So log on and vote.
Speaking of comments, many wondered what our Annual Manual was about, and weren’t quite sure about its name. So this year, when the news magazine hits the streets in August, it’ll be named 2015-16 Stripes Welcome to Pacific, which, like its predecessor, will be loaded with info on how to live and enjoy your time at your new duty station. Navigating trains, buying a car, getting your kids enrolled in school, speaking the local language. It’s all in there. The 2014-15 Annual Manual is currently available in the blue boxes across the bases, or you can call your local Stars and Stripes base office to get one. Welcome to Japan will be available in August.
Several of those surveyed in Japan and Okinawa asked if we could start a column on speaking Japanese. Your wish is our command. Turn to Page 6 to check out our first rendition.
A couple of readers thought that some stories we published haven’t necessarily been suitable for children. Our publications and website are indeed for military families, but they are also for the thousands of young servicemembers in the community. We have to gear material toward them as well. With that said, we have standards in terms of content being suitable for all readers and we will continue to keep a close eye on that.
The bottom line is we care what you think. As I said before, these are your community papers, websites and magazines. The survey will help us tweak things to fit your needs. But this isn’t the end of it. We want to continue to hear from you. If you drop us a note or give us a call, I promise we’ll get right back to you.
Thanks for allowing us to be a part of this great military community.
Publishing and Media Design Manager
Stars and Stripes Pacific