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Outdoors Unlimited going electronic

Feb. 13, 2009

Missoula, Mont. – The Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) is transforming its 82-year-old flagship monthly newsletter – Outdoors Unlimited – into an interactive online publication.

OWAA’s board of directors made the decision at its recent winter board meeting in Indianapolis.

OWAA President Phil Bloom said it shouldn’t come as a surprise “for anyone who has been reading the tea leaves of the modern communications marketplace.”

Print publications including the Christian Science Monitor, the Detroit Free Press, PC magazine, The Capital Times in Madison, Wis., and others are rapidly switching to online subscriptions. As technology and demographics drive change, more and more publications, including OU, will follow.

Another reason for the transition is financial. The cost for printing and delivery exceeds $25,000 annually.

“But it’s not just about dollars,” Bloom said. “Instead, it makes sense to embrace the ability to tell stories in three dimensions rather than one.”

The new digital format of Outdoors Unlimited will allow greatly enhanced interaction among members while taking advantage of the unique capabilities multimedia technology offers.

The estimated timetable for launching the online publication is:

March 1 – Launch Outdoors Unlimited Online. Expect featured Craft Improvement pieces and all the usual departments including Bookshelf, Portfolio, Association Update, Feedback and more – and in color. Member News, job listing and editors’ needs will be posted weekly rather than monthly, and members may respond to articles immediately.

By July 1, OWAA headquarters plans to implement audio, video and databases for members to sell their work, “Find a Photographer” and “Find an Outdoor Writer,” for example. OU Online will also feature member blogs and Web sites, and slide shows.

By Oct. 1, additional features are expected to be incorporated, including new columns focusing on technology, financial planning and business. Online mini-conferences and virtual auctions will be considered as well.

To learn more about the transformation of Outdoors Unlimited and the timetable for implementation, see the Frequently Asked Questions.

The 1,500-member Outdoor Writers Association of America is the oldest and largest association of professional outdoor communicators in the United States. It was organized in 1927 by members of the Izaak Walton League of America and includes professional communicators dedicated to sharing the outdoor experience. OWAA’s professionals include writers, photographers, outdoors radio- and television show hosts, book authors, videographers, lecturers and artists. The association is headquartered in Missoula, Mont. For more information, go to

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