Several months ago, ATA President Scott Brennan asked me to recruit a committee to write a policy statement for the association's magazine, The ATA Chronicle . Two distinguished members accepted the challenge: Isabel A. Leonard, former Chronicle editor (1976–1979), and Lydia Razran Stone, editor of the Slavic Language Division's newsletter, the SlavFile (since 1995). I have held the positions of assistant editor of The Chronicle (1994–1995) and editor of The AATIA Letter, newsletter of the Austin Area Translators and Interpreters Association (since 1992).
The committee's main concern was to ensure and stipulate a place for free speech and open discussion within the existing Chronicle framework.
The committee began by examining current practice. Chronicle Editor Jeff Sanfacon gave us a comprehensive description of the publication process, and former ATA President Ann Macfarlane provided a preliminary draft for a policy. We also drew upon policy statements from other publications. At several stages in the process we solicited input and suggestions from members of the ATA Board of Directors, Executive Director Walter Bacak, and editors of chapter and division publications.
The committee presented its draft to the Board of Directors at its January meeting in Austin, Texas; the Board approved it with several amendments. The final text is printed below and will appear on ATA's website at www.atanet.org.
R. Michael Conner
February 8, 2005
The ATA Chronicle is the flagship publication of the American Translators Association and a major membership benefit. In addition to publishing articles of professional interest to language professionals, The Chronicle provides a forum for the members and a medium for association officials to communicate with them. Although the Board of Directors is ultimately responsible for The Chronicle , its day-to-day operation has been delegated to the editor and editorial board.
The Chronicle will include informative, educational, and entertaining articles that target a readership primarily of the members. It will publish newsworthy items on the association's activities, member achievements, opportunities for professional development, and the wider translation and interpretation community. It will also provide a venue for members to publish articles pertaining to their work and interests.
Besides articles, the magazine will also publish information and opinion on ATA policies and practices. The Chronicle will make its pages available to the ATA Board, staff, committees, and other official bodies so that they can explain, justify, and, if necessary, defend such policies and practices. Members may also submit opinion pieces that critique and seek to improve aspects of ATA policies and practices, as well as address issues affecting the profession. Opinion pieces will not be rejected because of content, but if necessary, for reasons of civility, cogency, factual accuracy, or space limitations.
In the latter case, a representative sampling will be published, with preference given to submissions that are timely and well-informed. The Chronicle will have an editorial board that consists of ATA voting members who have editorial experience with official ATA national, division, or chapter publications. Its functions include providing advice to the editor if requested and ruling on appeals by members whose submissions are not accepted. Members of the editorial board will be listed in The Chronicle's masthead.
Submission guidelines will appear in each issue of The Chronicle . The editor will have the authority to make exceptions to the submission guidelines. All material submitted for publication will be subject to peer review when appropriate and possible.
Ad hoc Chronicle Policy Committee
R. Michael Conner, Isabel A. Leonard, Lydia Razran Stone