Long live Spore
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Dellere, Robert. 2006. Long live Spore. Spore 121. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48017
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore121.pdf
An agronomic engineer, Robert Delleré was head of CTA s Technical Division for 10 years, and became Spore s first editor-in-chief...
Robert Delleré Long live Spore An agronomic engineer, Robert Delleré was head of CTA s Technical Division for 10 years, and became Spore s first editor-in-chief. Now working as a freelance consultant, he traces the magazine s journey since the pioneering days of those first issues. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to share my thoughts on this the 20th anniversary of Spore. My memories of those early days the excitement of creating a new magazine and with it, new friendships are still very vivid. More than anything else, a magazine acts as a link between people those who conceive, research and write and those who read, apply and react. Spore brings together men and women from widely different backgrounds. It is this human aspect which makes compiling a magazine such an absorbing task. Allow me to mention a few of the pioneers: the inspiring Gunter Gruner, CTA s guardian angel at the European Commission; the editorial team at Periscoop; Dominique Hounkonnou, who, laid the foundations for Spore s production with me; Daniel Assoumou M'Ba, who gave the fledgling publication its short, bilingual name, which so cleverly conveys the idea of spreading information to the four winds; Michael Pickstock, who opened up the English-speaking world to us; the Lusophone team led by Álvaro Soares de Melo who, in 1993, launched the Portuguese version. One of Spore s merits is to have built bridges between linguistic communities that are often worlds apart, and to have reunited the big ACP family. Now, 20 years later, I am happy to see how Spore has stayed its course. As a faithful reader, I have seen how improvements have been made, with small touches here and there. Before I left, Spore expanded from 12 to 16 pages and introduced colour photographs, and the editorial teams who followed have had the wisdom to focus their efforts on the magazine s presentation, as well as its content. Design and illustration play an important role in drawing the reader in. The excellent quality of the paper means that copies can be passed from one reader to another. As for the text, the introduction of the Mailbox has offered an interactive tool which has breathed new life into the magazine and which ably complements the Viewpoint column. The team has avoided the pitfall of allowing Spore to become an in-house magazine. Of course, it is the brainchild of CTA, and has quickly carved its place as the Centre s flagship publication. But by tapping a wide variety of information sources, Spore has broadened the scope of its coverage, as well as its readership. Several university professors have told me that they use it to find examples to illustrate their courses; extensionists read it to find new and appropriate techniques and farmers value it for its very useful practical advice. The remarkable thing about this magazine is its consistency through the years. As CTA developed, Spore has maintained its look and feel. Readers are loyal and are creatures of habit. My hope is that though it carries on changing in keeping with the times, Spore will continue for a long time yet to follow the formula which has made it so successful. The French have a charming slang for a newspaper. They call it a duck. So let us wish long life to our little duck! Having come of age, it deserves not just one, but two awards, so it may continue to swim upstream to accomplish its destiny.