first person

Welcome to the new CJR

March 2, 2015

The Columbia Journalism Review takes on a new look this morning, with an elegant, fresh design on its desktop, tablet and mobile sites. If you remember CJR’s old look we think you’ll welcome our new one: visually bold, with cleaner lines, easier navigation and gorgeous color and typography. Best of all, it’s a better expression of our mission and our sensibility.

Starting at the top, we’ve junked the old labels and categories, with their print centric traditions, and adopted coverage areas that adhere to our new priorities, with topics emphasizing innovations in the media world, criticism and accountability, local and community news and the challenging business of being in the media business.

You’ll also notice:

  • We’ll be retiring Darts and Laurels after a good, long life and replacing it with Hit or Miss. The idea will be similar – to highlight both exemplary work and that which failed in its mission. But Hit or Miss will be more timely and social, which means we would welcome your recommendations for journalism that fits either category. Reach us on Twitter (@CJR) or email us here.
  • We’re developing a star cast of columnists in the sphere of journalism, including digital culture prophet Ann Friedman, Joel Simon from the Committee to Protect Journalists, newsroom leadership expert Jill Geisler and ethics soothseer Monica Guzman.
  • Throughout the site, we’ve made social media and sharing more central to your experience. There’s probably no group more devoted to Twitter than the journalists who read us, so we want to make your life easier with this redesign.

CJR’s mission will not change as we accelerate toward our digital-first future. We are the only publication whose sole focus is to critically examine the dynamics of American journalism – the work itself, the players who produce it, and the forces that are shaping it.

This new site would not have happened without the highly gifted Mario Garcia, one of the country’s most prominent web and print designers, as well as his talented partner, Reed Reibstein, in addition to Constantin Eberle. This is their genius (they detail the process in this blog post). We also thank our web developers, Michael Murphy and Dean Pajevic, for building this, and Sarah Grieco, who led our staff in turning alluring designs into a live website. Most especially, we’re grateful to Columbia Journalism School Dean Stephen Coll for supporting this effort.

CJR has a story of momentum, with a staff that has increased its tempo over the past year, watched traffic numbers rise and taken large swings at important topics, players, and ideas. With these new design changes, we hope CJR will continue on its way toward a place of maximum influence in the world of journalism.

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Elizabeth Spayd is the editor in chief and publisher of CJR.