Columbia Journalism Review publisher and editor-in-chief Liz Spayd announced this morning that the magazine is going from bimonthly to two “special issues” per year and focusing on its digital side. Here’s a memo about the changes from Columbia Journalism School dean Steve Coll:
Dear J-school Faculty, Staff and Students,
I write to share some news with you about Columbia Journalism Review.
C.J.R. is and will be for years to come a flagship of our school and an influential source of reporting, narrative writing, criticism and insight about our profession. During the last several years, the school has recommitted itself to this mission-driven enterprise by bringing the magazine back to a beautiful newsroom in our building and investing in a redesign by Mario Garcia, as well as an expanded digital strategy.
After a rigorous strategy review conducted over the summer, we have now decided on changes designed to better realign our resources with our audience. We intend to significantly increase our investments in C.J.R.’s digital operations while shifting the print magazine schedule from bimonthly to two special issues a year. We will also begin a transition from a subscription to a membership model that will continue to provide digital and print access.
This digital-first approach will allow us to engage with our readers in new ways, improve our technology and reach a broader audience than ever before. Our goal is influence and impact, so we must invest in readership growth. Our experience during the last several years tells us this means investing more aggressively in digital. Our strategy also calls for investments in print issues that are ambitious and deeply reported, focused around the compelling issues that are reshaping our profession.
Our turn coincides with new leadership on C.J.R.’s outstanding board. Reuters’ editor-in-chief Steve Adler is taking the chairmanship, succeeding Neil Barsky, the founder of the remarkable Marshall Project. We feel we are moving from strength to strength there.
In her two years as Editor and Publisher of C.J.R., Liz Spayd has turned the enterprise in exciting and influential new directions. The Journalism School remains committed to C.J.R. and its mission and we hope to continue down on our recent trajectory of substantial audience growth.
Dean Columbia School of Journalism