Italy: 10th Anniversary of Voci di Pace (Voices of Peace)
By Giorgio Gasperoni, UPF Italy
Voices of Peace has been published in Italy and San Marino since March 2007. The Idea came with the initiatives developed in 2003 with the IIFWP with the Conferences organized throughout the world on the theme “The world at a turning point” and in 2005 with the establishment of UPF in New York. We registered the magazine in San Marino in 2005.
But we could start to publish it in March 2007. We wanted to involve our Ambassadors of Peace and keep them connected with our activities. We asked advice to some Managing Editors of other magazines in order to have a good input.
What I have learned in looking back in these 10 years of working with the magazine Voices of Peace?
Normally, it is not so difficult to start a magazine but very difficult to keep going and improve it, especially if the work is voluntary.
In the beginning, I had very few Ambassadors for Peace cooperating, but could slowly gain more support. To win their trust they need to see over time the vision of the magazine and how we approach issues. We have to listen and prepare ourselves (study the issues and know about the interest of the Ambassadors for Peace that we approach) – being able to explain our purpose in developing a particular issue and what we expect from them. This takes effort and home work.
Another important point is to keep the magazine ‘alive’ – interviews, interesting and topical issues and approaches.
My idea is that If we want to convey our core ‘principled’ material, we have to surround it with secondary material. Maybe 80% secondary material and 20% our core material/vision. Secondary material does not mean superficial but addressing many different issues: Human Rights, Cultural of Peace, Interreligious initiatives, World Affairs, Culture, Civil Society and so on. If we have good topics and good opinion leaders as writers, the Magazine becomes a good vehicle for our articles and vision to be read.
How do we manage all the work in a small base as we are? The Graphic Designer is a brother who has worked in that field for 30 years. When I (Giorgio) have prepared the copy for Voices for Peace I calls him and explain exactly about each article and why I have chosen each issue. Through this the designer can grasp the spirit and transform it into the graphic format. He works for the Ginseng company and the printing company that works for the ginseng company is printing several magazines for catholic organizations. So, he discusses with them because they have a lot of experience and the final work comes out through this interaction.
Throughout the years we could learn to harmonize better the work between myself as Managing Director and the main Italian Leadership of UPF and WFWP. This helped a lot to learn how to get involved AfPs and contributors in a variety of fields.
Right now, I can say, the magazine is well received and AfPs and other important guests are willing to cooperate and give their contribution. We found out that for our present capacity, 3 issues per year is good. We can present good reflections on important issues, we can report about our national and international activities. If we want to involve AfPs and contributors without paying them we cannot ask too often.
For the Breaking News, we can use the social network: Blog of Voices of Peace, Facebook Page of Voices of Peace, Twitter and so on.