Citing a drive to “better align our resources with our mission,” CJR on Wednesday announced that the influential review of journalism will cut its print schedule from six to two issues per year.
“The print magazine has a revered place in American journalism,” Liz Spayd, the editor in chief and publisher of CJR wrote in a note to readers. “For half a century, it was the primary means by which CJR delivered ideas and criticism to its loyal audience. But in the past decade, our print readers have steadily declined while our online audience has ballooned, with visits up 35 percent over last year. Continuing to spend so many resources on print is, regrettably, limiting our ability to invest fully in digital.”
In place of the magazine’s bimonthly publication, CJR will publish two special editions each year — one in the spring and one in the fall — with “high-concept themes, high-quality design, and a high-impact audience,” Spayd writes.
CJR is one of the only remaining journalism reviews left in the U.S. since American Journalism Review folded earlier this year. That publication’s demise was preceded by cuts to the print edition, but Spayd indicates that the decreased print frequency at CJR will not be accompanied by any other reductions at the magazine.
“When a publication cuts back on print, it usually triggers dire predictions that another shoe will drop,” Spayd wrote. “But there is no other shoe in CJR’s case.”
CJR, which was founded under Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 1961, is bankrolled by a variety of donors, including multiple foundation funders and philanthropic contributors according to its website. Among them: the Maria Moors Cabot Fund, The Commonwealth Fund, Democracy Fund, Inc., The Saul and Janice Poliak Center for the Study of First Amendment Issues and Rockefeller Family & Associates.
In her note, Spayd says the publication has recently made hires and has the “unfailing support of an exceptional journalism school.”
The magazine continues to publish high-impact analysis, reporting and criticism of journalism in the U.S. and abroad, most notably this year with its review of Rolling Stone’s botched esposé of rape culture at the University of Virginia.