PEGG Format backgrounder


Magazine or Newspaper?

APEGGA wants to know whether you’d like The PEGG to switch from a newspaper to a magazine format.

There are positives and negatives to both formats, so before giving your answer please consider the implications described in this backgrounder.

Content, Coverage & Readership

Reproduction quality is better in magazines, which is particularly noticeable in photographs and advertising. Many of the ads that now appear in The PEGG are actually designed for magazines, to suit most of the other print media they appear in. Magazine design doesn’t always work well on newsprint, so the quality drops even more.

Hardcopy content and coverage will change if The PEGG becomes a magazine. A longer production cycle and the nature of magazine readership would make it less a source of time-sensitive news and information, and more a source of feature stories and in-depth analysis.

A magazine lends itself to long stories appearing over a number of pages. This would allow The PEGG to explore in each edition one or more major issues affecting the professions.

Most members who receive The PEGG read at least some of it. Past surveys suggest the percentage is 90 per cent or more. Only about 17 per cent of members, however, have the time or inclination to read it from cover to cover.

It’s difficult to say for certain that making The PEGG a magazine would increase readership. General comparisons of magazine and newspaper readership are hard to find.

Some members say they prefer reading magazines and are more likely to keep a magazine for future reference. Others tell us they’re more likely to read a newspaper, and they tend to read it right away.

Four years ago we surveyed members on their preference – magazine versus newspaper – and the results weren’t conclusive. Fewer than 40 per cent of those who responded favoured a switch if the costs were comparable. About 30 per cent wanted us to retain the current format, and about 30 per cent had no preference.

Of the major sister associations, only APEGGA does not publish a magazine. APEGBC, PEO and OIQ all have magazines.

Editors in B.C. and Ontario say the format and frequency of their magazines – six times a year – limit the amount of timely material they carry. PEO notes that the existence of a separate advocacy body in Ontario frees up the publication for higher-level ethical and self-regulation issues.


Magazines cost more to produce and print than newspapers do. However, there are ways APEGGA can offset or reduce costs through page counts, advertising sales and the number of editions published each year. For example, we could increase advertising rates in the magazine by 20 to 30 per cent over our current newspaper rates.

If APEGGA switches to a magazine, our goal would be to keep net costs comparable to what they are now. 

Environmental Impact


Print publishing has a significant environmental impact. We minimize that impact by using canola-based ink, and paper with a percentage of recycled content. Whenever possible, we use printers that can certify their work through the Forest Stewardship Council.

We’ll continue doing this if The PEGG format changes. Even so, magazines generally use a higher grade of paper than newspapers do, so magazine printing generally has a greater impact on the environment. This would be mitigated somewhat if we reduce the number of editions per year.

Our environmental footprint comes from more than paper production and ink, of course. It takes fossil fuels and electricity to operate a press. Paper and other materials have to be shipped to the press. And The PEGG has to be delivered to readers, too.

In recent years we have given members the option of cancelling their hardcopy edition while staying informed. All stories published in The PEGG appear in The PEGG Online, and we also send out e-PEGGs at least monthly to everyone who wants one and has provided us with a current e-mail address. The e-PEGG is a mix of breaking information and information we publish elsewhere, and it’s geared to messages that require an immediate response, such as surveys and event registration.

Our long-term goal is to reduce circulation of the hardcopy PEGG as electronic ways of disseminating information grow more popular. So far, however, circulation continues to grow with membership, and few members actually cancel delivery.

Professionalism on Display

Editors of the APEGBC and PEO magazines believe the format of their publications reflects and builds professionalism more than a newspaper would, but they have no data to prove it.

Many members tell us they believe a magazine would project a more professional image than their newspaper does. The thinking is that stories about self-regulation would carry more credibility with all readers than they do now, and that members would be more willing to publicly display copies of The PEGG.

The publication would therefore instil professional pride and help our members build APEGGA’s profile in their offices and communities.

What Do You Think?