Spore, CTA’s flagship magazine on agriculture and rural development in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, has undergone a digital makeover. The aim was to diversify Spore’s audience by allowing readers to play a more active role in discussing – and even contributing to – issues covered by the magazine, which has built up a dedicated following since it was first launched in 1983.
Recent studies have revealed that Spore's current readership is disproportionately male-dominated, 87% of its readers are men, and the majority are aged 36 or older. The revamped website will help to attract a wider audience, especially targeting women and young people, but also readers from currently under-represented groups, such as civil society, regional and international organisations and the private sector. "The site will encourage sharing of different opinions and insights, and exchange of information from the field," says CTA Director Michael Hailu. "Now interactive, Spore enables you to participate fully in the debate, suggest topics and express your own views."
Available in English and French, the new-look website presents agricultural and rural development news from all six ACP regions, with a special focus on innovations that are helping to transform agriculture as an engine for inclusive growth. Spore also features a mixture of portraits, interviews and case studies, giving a voice to people who are working to resolve challenges posed by climate change, soil depletion, poor market access, and other constraints to higher rural incomes. Instant sharing Spore in print is free for all organisations and individual residents, in ACP countries, involved in agricultural and rural development. The site allows visitors to download all of the past issues of the magazine, as well as to subscribe online to receive print versions as they are published. There is also an option to sign up for the newsletter on the website.
With a simple, but eye-catching layout that makes the site easy to navigate, visitors can head straight for the subject that interests them most, by clicking on a topic from a range of choices, including agricultural production, environment, business, trade, blue economy, research, and nutrition and health. Quality photographs, illustrating technologies and innovations in the field and the people who are using them, are given high priority. A section devoted to facts and figures linked to Spore's regular Dossier brings complex topics to life, with visuals and infographics to illustrate them.
The website layout is deliberately designed to promote networking and exchange. Every article has an option for instant sharing, via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, and where possible, links are given to enable readers to find out more. Although many readers are likely to view the Spore site from a large screen computer, it works equally well on a portable laptop, tablet or smartphone.
The addition of new regional pages to the website makes it possible for readers to home in on news and developments that affect their own country and region, or to investigate how people are tackling similar challenges to those they face in other parts of the world. A press review offers a round-up of the latest articles, many from publications in ACP countries, and all covering topics likely to be of interest to Spore readers.
The website offers opportunities for followers of Spore to explore other information and services supplied by CTA, including recent publications and up-to-date details of upcoming events. A new addition is the opinion section, which takes an important topic and presents the viewpoint of a number of experts. Visitors are invited to express their opinion online; either by clicking on a range of options to give their standpoint, or by leaving a longer post that goes into more detail. There is also an option for visitors to post a blog on an upcoming topic, or suggest one that they would like to see addressed by the Spore editorial team.
Discover Spore's new website