The American Journalism Review will end production of its print edition and launch a redesigned website in Fall 2013 as it becomes an online-only publication, the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism announced Wednesday.
The current AJR website will continue to be maintained and new articles uploaded throughout the summer.
The revamped site at AJR.org will offer content on news innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as the media criticism on which AJR has built its reputation over the past 36 years.
Most of AJR’s content will be produced by Merrill College students under the guidance of Merrill faculty members Leslie Walker and Sean Mussenden. “The model for publishing has clearly shifted to digital formats as online readership has grown,” said Merrill College Dean Lucy A. Dalglish. “It no longer made financial sense for the award-winning AJR to continue producing a print magazine because most AJR readers accessed content on the Web. In addition, philanthropy has long been an important source of funding for print magazines devoted to media criticism. That support has steadily declined over the past 10 years.”
“This transition is being made after nine months of study, reflection and planning by Merrill College faculty, staff, alumni and outside consultants,” Dalglish said. AJR has featured the contributions of students for many years and will be integrated more fully into the life and identity of the college. “Refocusing AJR to publish more student-produced content will give more Merrill College students the opportunity to gain real-world experience under the guidance of our outstanding faculty,” Dalglish said. “Merrill College has operated the Capital News Service for more than 20 years. Now students will have the ability to write and produce multimedia content for another outstanding college-sponsored publication, as will faculty from Merrill College, the University of Maryland and beyond.” The redesigned AJR website will maintain an online archive of stories and other content. A Brief History The original Washington Journalism Review was founded in 1977 by American University graduate student Roger Kranz. In 1979 it was purchased by Ambassador Henry Catto and his wife, Jessica. WJR came to College Park in 1987 thanks to the efforts of then-Dean Reese Cleghorn. Just one year after Rem Rieder became editor in 1992, the publication was renamed the American Journalism Review. AJR was based at the College of Journalism and owned by the University of Maryland Foundation. In 2011, ownership and full financial responsibility for the magazine was transferred to the Philip Merrill College of JournalismOriginally published 11 times per year with a large staff, it ultimately moved to three issues per year and in the last two years had an editor, part-time copy editor and free-lance writers and designers. Rieder, who left AJR in July to become an editor at USA Today, also taught classes for students enrolled in a capstone American Journalism Review class. Reider will continue as a consultant to the college.