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Reform Magazine | December 11, 2017

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Editorial: Digital Reform

steve_tomkinsTelevision and books misled my generation. Growing up in the 1970s, we were given the distinct impression that by the 21st Century we could all be living on Mars, hovering around with jetpacks and honeymooning in zero gravity. You can see where the assumption came from: In a century we had progressed from horse and cart to moon landings, so just imagine what transformations in transport technology the next few decades would bring. What in fact they brought, was cars with central locking and the ability to start first time on frosty mornings.

Instead, it seems, the giddying transformation switched to communications technology, and, rather than space, we got cyberspace – the internet and mobile phones instead of jetpacks. (Admittedly Captain Kirk did have something like a mobile phone, but we never saw him play Candy Crush on it.)

Now, that tide of technological change has risen high enough for Reform to ride it. This month, for the first time, you can read the whole magazine, not only on paper, but on your tablet, smartphone, laptop or good old fashioned desktop computer too. Appy days.

We’ve been playing with the new Reform app here at Reform Towers, and we’re just thrilled with it. The digital magazine looks great, it’s easy to get around and there’s just so much you can do with it that you can’t do with paper: You can magnify and zoom in; you can search for words – including those buried in all the back issues that come free.

There’s video too, which has always been hard to include on paper, because of the prohibitive costs of providing a mini film projector with each copy. This month, “Christian Activist” is about the excellent Show Up campaign, and mentions the campaign’s video. Get the digital magazine and you can watch it there on the page. There will also be extra images and audio clips from interviews that we can’t give you in print.

You can click on any weblink in the magazine and go straight to that webpage – so all those links for more information on the news pages or “A letter from…” that you can never be bothered to type out, are now just a click away.

And yet, it costs less. Existing subscribers can add the digital Reform to their print subscription for 60p an issue. Or, if you prefer, you can change your print subscription to digital when it’s time for you to renew and cut the price from £25 to £18 (see also page 13).

Change is a constant. Sometimes, like climate, changes can be horrifying. Sometimes, like the halving of extreme hunger, they are glorious. Sometimes they’re just pretty neat.

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This article was published in the April 2015 edition of  Reform.

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