By: Greg Mitchell
And so, after 119 years, Editor & Publisher has come full circle. A monthly in its earliest form in 1884, it will now return to its roots in 2004. Of course, there is one big difference (besides the color photos and the frequent rock ‘n’ roll references): In the 1880s, “on line” was nothing more than where you hoped to hook a fish for dinner.
The official launch date for the “new” E&P is Jan. 12. That’s when subscribers will start receiving our enlarged, slightly redesigned monthly issue. On the same day, not coincidentally, you can also enjoy the expanded, completely revamped E&P Online, with access to breaking news, a dozen columns, classifieds, and many other special features. Editorial material will now be neatly arranged in six areas of interest: Business, Newsroom, Advertising/Circulation, Technology, Syndicates and Online Journalism. It will be like six sites in one.
More on all that later, but first, let’s give E&P in weekly form a proper send-off. It was, after all, one of the oldest-running weeklies in the country. Our roots stretch back to a magazine called The Journalist in 1884, which begat Newspaperdom, which begat The Fourth Estate (producing in 1898 the first weekly edition), which begat The Editor and Publisher in 1901, later slightly renamed Editor & Publisher.
A very early player in the dot-com race, we launched our Web site in 1995. E&P‘s pioneering coverage of Web journalism was instrumental in helping many newspapers get into cyberspace for the first time.
Three months ago, in announcing our shift to monthly in print and hourly online, I promised that all the writers long associated with E&P would continue to contribute in the new format, and happily that remains true. In explaining the shift, I observed that while we had broken more national news stories in the past year than in several past years combined, we feared that weekly, in this electronic age, would soon mean “weakly.” So we decided to expand our role as the news bible of the newspaper industry via the Web — while also, on a monthly basis in print, presenting the analysis and commentary that helps put all that news in context.
Since then, we’ve made plans to add new features to the monthly magazine, ranging from a “Photo of the Month” to a more robust Technology section. We have also retooled our Web site, and given it a clear and attractive look. It will feature much more material (including many new columns), updated more frequently, and arranged in easy-to-access mini-sites covering every major field in the industry. Also look for expanded classifieds and many other features.
But to take advantage of all that, you will have to activate your online account! Unlike our current policy, most of our online content, except for breaking news stories, will now sit behind a firewall. As a current subscriber you can get it free, but you must activate first. Non-subscribers should subscribe now (or pay a monthly fee for online access). That way, you will be able to follow the latest industry news, daily, even hourly — and read more about what it all means in the next print edition. We’re tremendously excited and optimistic about this shift. Looking ahead, while keeping an eye on what our readers want, is our way of never looking our age.