Our Readers Respond

The results of the 2009 Legion Magazine Readership Survey are in, and the sampling was as detailed and instructive as we had hoped. The staff at Legion Magazine would like to thank everyone who responded.

That response is essential to us for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the results guide us in planning the editorial in upcoming issues, but the data you provide also gives us enough information to create a demographic profile of our readership and thus encourage advertisers to purchase space in Legion Magazine. The first use of the survey results ensures that we stay on track, working to deliver the stories you like best and the second application is essential for the magazine’s financial future. The revenue generated means we can afford to produce the magazine you deserve. We all come out winners.

Research House, Toronto, was tasked with tabulating the 1,508 responses and based on statistical sampling norms, the overall margin of error for the returns is approximately plus or minus 2.52 per cent at a 95 per cent confidence level. Suffice it to say, if the audited outcome fairly represents reader preference, and it does, Legion Magazine has received top marks. The average approval rating for Legion Magazine was 81 per cent or A-.

Our survey revealed that we have 2.54 readers per copy, the highest level of readers per copy to date, which results in an impressive average annual readership of 696,826. This represents almost 3 per cent of the adult Canadian population and 13 per cent of the entire Canadian mature market (age 55 plus).

We also asked our readers to rate the magazine’s editorial content on their level of interest—none, low, moderate and high—and it was no surprise that once again the most popular topic was Remembrance. Sixty-eight per cent of you indicated a high interest while 27 per cent of readers indicated a moderate interest for an overall approval rating of 95 per cent. This is an increase from our last survey where Remembrance ranked 93.5 per cent. Second place was awarded to the Canadian Forces which rose from sixth to second position, and Current Issues dropped by one to rest in third place.

If we examine the subjects that moved the most significantly from our last survey, the top three were part of the Canadian Military History In Perspective series. Air Force jumped 12 spots to the 10th position, Navy rose by 11 to land in 12th, and Army moved up seven spots to land in fifth. Another significant move came from Canada’s War Art which leapt five spots to rank at 26. On the flipside, the News section dropped 10 positions to 14th, Health File, VAC news/programs and RCL news/programs each dropped by seven places to 18, 20 and 21, respectively.

In 2008, we launched a new series on Canadian Battle Honours and were delighted to see that it made the top 10, ranking eighth out of 31.

All in all, there were 15 items, almost half with an approval rating over 80 per cent. Check out how your favourites ranked in the table below.

We heard from new readers and those who had subscribed for decades.

“I’m a recent new subscriber, but what I see I like! I am considering becoming a Legion member and I have spoken with some Legion members to get information and to see how I could use my talents as a member. I also enjoy the Legion website.” —Donald Shirley, Chipman, N.B.

“I have received this magazine for 30 years or more and hope to continue for many years to come.” —C.B. Dixon, Lindsay, Ont.

The children and grandchildren of the men and women who served Canada in wartime were consistent in their desire to learn more about where and how their loved ones served.

“The Legion Magazine is a link to my past. My father was a WW II veteran (S.A.S.) and my mother a British war bride. Because my father rarely talked about his experiences during the war, I read the articles hoping to learn something about the hardships they endured. He encouraged me to become a Legion member and I have been one for over 30 years.” —Carolyn DeBelser-Mayson, Loon Lake, Sask.

“My father was a lifetime member of the Legion and receiving this magazine reminds us of him and the years he spent overseas in the Canadian Corps of Signals to make a better world for us. We enjoy the articles, the pictures and find the Last Post bittersweet, but an important way to recognize loved ones and past comrades. It would be a dream come true to go to France and see some of the places Dad served this country.…” —Mary Martin, Toronto

“Your magazine interests me mainly for the excellent military history articles. I am particularly interested in the Italian Campaign. My father was killed there in August 1944. I never knew him or what he was involved with during the war.” —Ian McIntosh, North Vancouver

“My husband is a 45-year member. I read each issue cover to cover. My father was a WW II vet (RCMC) now deceased, my mother an English war bride, also deceased. We came to Canada in 1946, so all of your histories are of great interest to me.” —Catherine Milling, Windsor, Ont.

“Excellent reading. Keep up the good info. Always read magazine cover to cover. I am a grandson of a First World War vet, so it is in my blood and always will be. Lest We Forget.” —Donald Mayer, Bowden, Alta.

Our readership survey also heard from the families of the men and women serving today.

“Being new to Legion Magazine and a parent of a soldier on his first tour of duty, this magazine has become very helpful and a great resource for myself and my family. I also get to share many relevant articles with our friends as well. These articles are helpful for their understanding of our troops in Afghanistan. I love articles by Adam Day. I not only love Legion Magazine, I respect it. Thank you for the job you do.” —Jill Montgomery, Collingwood, Ont.

“We look forward to receiving our Legion Magazine. As a military family through WW II and then serving in the Air Force, CF, until 1990, the military is still a big part of our life.” —Sgt. (retired) Barbara Grimster, Cornwall, P.E.I.

One of many themes that kept reoccurring through your comments was the overriding concern that history is not being taught in schools and that young Canadians need more opportunities to learn about their past. Our readers clearly believe in passing the torch, not just in terms of remembrance, but in terms of our collective history.

“I would like more education for young Canadians on the history of World War I and II. Only by understanding war do we value our freedom. We are so lucky to live in Canada.” —Beverly Broker, Nipawin, Sask.

“I like the new changes and the new look to the magazine. I find the information provided by Legion Magazine to be extremely helpful in my work as project director for The Alberni Project, a tribute program for the men who served on HMCS Alberni. Keep up the great work. I wish that the magazine could be available to schools, but they do have access to the magazine online. I hope this is promoted to the local schools as a supplement to their history programs.” —Lewis Bartholomew, Courtenay, B.C.

“I have truly enjoyed your publication and believe it should be mandatory reading in high school history and sociology classes. Please keep up the great work.” —Nick Lisi, Whitby, Ont.

And some of our many readers welcomed our publication as a means to keep in touch with comrades across the land.

“I really enjoy reading the Legion Magazine. With a lot of Legions closing or in trouble we really need to communicate how to keep things going forward and stay vibrant in today’s economy.” —Diane O’Donoghue, St. Catharines, Ont.

“It is in many ways a companion of sorts. Keeps me alerted to activities in other branches, including ideas, etc. which could be utilized in mine.” —Gerald A. Walker, Shawville, Que.

“When I receive my Legion Magazine, I feel like I’m a member of something very important to the past, as well as the future, of the greatest country in the world.
When I go to my Legion, I feel like I belong too.” —Sharon Ryan, Dartmouth, N.S.

“This current issue of March/April is one of the best for quite a long time. Ortona Then and Now was especially good, also Erin Doyle and the Navy part 32 by Marc Milner and others are especially excellent. This magazine is the glue which cements us all together. Keep it up. Thanks.” —H. Otis Phinney, Sackville, N.B.

“I am third generation military and a proud Legion member. When travelling, I try to visit the local branches and have many pleasant memories of Legions across Canada. Thank you for the excellent work and this magazine.” —Alan Roy, Etobicoke, Ont.

“I am a veteran of WW II, Korea, NATO, and UNEF. I look forward to receiving my magazine. It is like keeping in touch, both with the past and the present, and being hopeful for the future.” —Donald Hensler, Gibsons, B.C.

It seems our magazine website has also generated response from readers.

“I did not know the magazine had a website, but now that I do, I shall visit often. I look forward to receiving my copy of the magazine and I read just about everything in it. I enjoy the articles on the navy in particular and usually get a chuckle out of Humour Hunt. Keep up the good work. Bravo-Zulu!” —George A. Rutherford, Belleville, Ont.

Over half of you took the time to make comments and we read them with interest.

“This is an excellent formatted magazine. I thoroughly enjoy reading it cover to cover and retain it for reference purposes. Our service personnel old and young are given such respect and gratitude in Legion Magazine.” —Barbara E. Bailey, Petawawa, Ont.

“The breadth of subjects covered is appreciated, like the article about the 60th anniversary of the St. Lawrence Seaway. This magazine always surprises and satisfies me. I’m a steadfast Canadian patriot.” —Lyle Turgeon, Winnipeg

“More comments from our soldiers, a diary of a soldier’s life in Afghanistan or Iraq. It would be interesting to know how they feel about their jobs and our support.” —Malcolm McRae, Smiths Falls, Ont.

“Legion Magazine is much improved during 2008, appearance, contents, etc. — much appreciated. Many thanks,” —Ron Butler, Faro, Yukon

In My Husband’s Footsteps

A precise, feminine voice answered the phone when Legion Magazine made the call to the grand prize winner of Legion Magazine’s 2009 Readership Survey. Mrs. Rhona Jacobsen was the winner of the 10-day tour to commemorate the 65th Anniversary of D-Day in France, courtesy of Verstraete Travel & Cruises. “I can’t believe it, I can hardly believe it…I love the Legion Magazine, I always have….My husband was in D-Day, my husband was in the Canadian General Hospital and they took 29 of them and they sent them to the Isle of Wight for combat training and the next thing they knew they were on an American LST [landing ship tank]… anyhow he landed on the beach—at Sword Beach (with the British).”

Sometimes life comes full circle and this is one of those moments. Mrs. Jacobsen decided to take her son. Together they will return to where her late husband served to honour his memory along with all the other Canadians who landed on D-Day.

There were a total of 10 prize winners in a random draw conducted by Research House. Along with the grand prize there were also three $150 cash prizes, three $100 cash prizes and three $50 cash prizes. The three winners, each receiving $150, are Arthur M. Grenier, Balzac, Alta.; Mike Lapansee, Kanata, Ont.; and Henry Richardson, Sarnia, Ont. The second group of three winners, each receiving $100, are Marc Potvin, Centreville, N.S.; L.O. Renton, Kars, Ont.; and Hope Gallows, Charlottetown. The final three winners, each receiving $50 are Jason Kelly, Kemptville, Ont.; Claire Irwin, Terrace, B.C.; and Roland Drouillard, Chambly, Que.

Email the writer at: [email protected]

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