I am a long-time CQ subscriber as well as an ARRL Life Member since age 18.
With that said, when you look at the contest programs run by the two
organizations, CQ (the magazine) does a lousy job in comparison to the ARRL
in my opinion (and quite a few others from what I hear). I do think it's
important to make some distinctions here.
The VOLUNTEERS that work for CQ in log checking, writing results and
administering the contest do an outstanding job, and are appreciated by the
contesting community. It is widely known that CQ contests have always raised
the bar in logchecking/analysis/reporting. When the ARRL found itself lacking
in these respects a while back, they looked to some of the CQ volunteer guys
who have really brought that program a lot of improvement.
It's the MAGAZINE that drops the ball in that it seems to be incapable of
getting award certificates and plaques out in anything resembling a timely
manner, when they get them out at all.
Subscribing to CQ to support the contests (ala PBS, etc.) just gives more
money to the magazine without helping the vounteers who are doing all the
work. I don't know the answer to this, but it would be nice if CQ would look
at how ARRL administers its award program. They give out many more awards,
while sponsoring many more contests, yet I have never failed to get a
certificate or plaque in a timely manner.
I gave up long ago on CQ plaques that I PAID for and never received going
back to the mid 1980's. For DX guys, it's even worse. I've spoken to many
contesters outside the US who have the same story...
I think it's nice that CQ has good volunteers that help keep their
subscription money coming in. I'd hate to see what their contest program
would be like if the magazine folks (or whomever is in charge of that end of
the business) ran the logchecking and reporting. Maybe they could pay the
logcheckers and let them handle the awards also. It works well at ARRL...
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