This could have been the Review’s last print issue.
In the fall, our publisher, Ivor Shapiro, asked the new masthead to research what the School of Journalism should do with the magazine. Going online-only was a definite possibility.
From a financial perspective, what many readers love about magazines—holding the paper, turning the pages—are liabilities. It’s not just about content: sitting down with a magazine is its own experience. Certainly that was the attitude of many Review supporters when rumblings about spiking the print edition surfaced last spring.
We advised Shapiro to keep the print magazine, but as the centrepiece of a broader strategy that also emphasized digital. He listened.
To show him this was more than just talk, we invested significant time in producing digital content and improving the website.
Now, rrj.ca extends our ability to cover Canadian journalism. This year’s masthead produced podcasts, a news and commentary blog, short online features and a weekly newsletter. While working on the diversity package that appears in this magazine, we realized there was much more to say. So we created a special web page devoted to extending the conversation. And if you read this issue’s stories online, you’ll find they include interactive elements that let you go deeper.
Challenging as it is to predict the future, it’s safe to say the Review is changing. Being on the internet doesn’t cheapen our work—it strengthens it. Being in print doesn’t make our product old-fashioned—it makes it authoritative. Magazines are about thoughtful, well-researched features that give context beyond what a same-day post can do. They’re the long take on events. That’s where the analog experience still has a place.
As we learned this year, it’s hard to describe what a magazine is today. The Ryerson Review of Journalism is the book you hold in your hands, the website you visit, the social media you engage with. It doesn’t exist in a single medium, and it doesn’t need to.
That’s an intimidating prospect and a challenge to execute. We’ve given it our best. And we hope you’ll like what you see.