John W. Boettjer, 33°, GC
Managing Editor, Scottish Rite Journal
The magazine's new format accents the fact
that change is the tradition
of the Scottish Rite Journal.
of the New Age Magazine from 1904, its inaugural year (l.),
and the latest issue of the Journal represent a century
of Masonic publication.
The New Year brings a new format to the Journal! How do
you like it? We want to know. This January-February issue is a
trial bimonthly format for 2004. There will be six issues of 48-pages
each during this year. Change is in the tradition of the magazine,
and 2004 is a particularly appropriate time to take another step
forward in the evolution of the magazine.
The first issue of the Journal's predecessor publication,
the New Age Magazine, was in June 1904. This year we celebrate
a century of regular jurisdiction-wide publication by the Supreme
Council, 33°. In 1870, the Council began distributing an Official
Bulletin, initially edited by Grand Commander Pike. "Published
at intervals of not more than four months," it was "strictly
official and historical." By 1904, however, Grand Commander
James D. Richardson recommended and the Council approved "a
literary monthly magazine" (price 15¢) with Masonic
content, but with popular advertising and articles of interest
to any reader as a major portion of the magazine.
1909 - Cover changes
to blue; Square & Compasses added
1955 - Sample of longest
lasting style change from 1910
1960 - Cover changes
to purple; eagle and sphinxes added
1969 - First full-color
cover recognizes first moon landing
1973 - Full-color covers
become the new style
1990 - "Scottish
Rite Journal" replaces "The New Age" as title
1991 - April - First
issue devoted to the Rite's main philanthropy
2002 - Journal
adopts a full-color format for every issue
Appropriate to its birth near the start of the new century, the
publication was titled the New Age Magazine. Generally,
it had a yellow cover (think National Geographic), with
a colorful graphic, as shown above. Also, a cover with a Square
and Compasses design was used for a few years, with the cover
color changing from month to month. The magazine measured 61/2"x91/2",
which is close to our new 2004 format of 81/4"x103/4".
A yellow cover with a black-and-white photo of the House of the
Temple or another Scottish Rite Temple then became standard until
1960 when the cover color was changed to purple and regularly
featured a graphic of the House of the Temple framed between two
The smaller digest size was not adopted until January 1965, and
the magazine's first full-color cover (November 1969) celebrated
"EDWIN E. ALDRIN, JR., 32°, ON THE MOON." Occasional
color covers followed and eventually became the standard. In January
1990, the magazine's title was changed to the Scottish Rite
Journal. April 1991 was the first all-color issue. It was
also the first issue devoted entirely to our flagship philanthropy,
then called the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Program.
Since 1991, the April issue has been devoted to the philanthropy
and printed in full color. With the April 2002 philanthropy issue,
the Scottish Rite Journal adopted full color on all pages
of all issues. In 2004, rather than an annual all-philanthropy
edition, materials in each issue will relate to the new name for
our philanthropy, the RiteCare Childhood Language Program. This
will sustain a continuing focus on our nationwide network of over
170 Scottish Rite clinics, centers, and programs.
||The staff of the Scottish
Rite Journal presented Grand Commander Seale with the
first copy of the magazine in its new 2004 size and format.
Ill. Seale personally thanked each of them for their enthusiastic,
creative, and competent revamping of the publication. Pictured
are Michael Noonan, desktop publisher; Dr. John Boettjer,
GC, Managing Editor; Elizabeth Williams, desktop publisher;
and SGC Seale.
Through the Journal's century of publication, paper types
and finishes, font styles and column formats, graphics and illustrations,
advertisement policies and editorial styles continued to evolve.
Change is the magazine's tradition, and at this century point
of the publication, with a new Grand Commander installed and with
the Supreme Council's full support, January 2004 is an appropriate
month to "begin again, again"-the theme of this issue's
Grand Commander's message.
Other changes you may note are:
- The type size of the text has changed from Minion 11 to Garamond
13, a larger, easier-to-read type. Also, there is more space
between lines. Senior readers should appreciate these changes,
and younger members are already used to larger type sizes and
the looser layouts of most contemporary magazines.
- No holds were barred in developing a fresh look to the magazine.
Photos and illustrations are larger, and diverse graphic devices,
made possible by advances in publication technology, will be
used to their fullest potential.
- The biographies and titles of authors are shortened to a few
highlights, and all author contact information is appended to
the end of each article, including e-mail address when available.
- Editorial policy will be less formal and keep materials as
brisk, concise, clear, and readable as possible.
The Supreme Council's official publication has always changed,
and the new size and format is just one more step in that journey
to keep the Scottish Rite Journal as the "Gold Standard"
of Masonic publication it has been for a century. With the largest
and widest readership (nearly 350,000 subscribers worldwide) of
any Masonic magazine, the Journal has an obligation to
keep up with the times and to serve you and Freemasonry in the
best ways possible.
For instance, every issue of the Journal goes onto the
Supreme Council's web site (www.srmason-sj.org)
at the start of the publication month of the issue, and several
years of back issues are archived on the web site for your review.
Journals, past and present, are more accessible than ever.
||John W. Boettjer
Valley of Alexandria, Va., received his Ph.D. in American
Studies from The George Washington University, Wash., D.C.,
where he taught before a 15-year career teaching in the English
Department of the Virginia Military Institute, which included
one year as a Research Fellow at Harvard. Ill. Boettjer became
Managing Editor of the Journal in 1989.