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American Journalism Review, Produced by Philip Merrill College of Journalism at University of MD, Runs Out of Money

by | Aug 3, 2015

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American Journalism Review will no longer be published online by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. “Over many decades, American Journalism Review has been an incredible value both to the college and to American journalists,” said Merrill College Dean Lucy Dalglish.

AJR, which ceased printing its magazine in 2013, stated it will shutter online production after running out of money.

“Unfortunately, we are unable to provide the resources needed to keep AJR the vibrant, innovative online publication it deserves to be,” said Lucy Dalglish, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, which produces the digital news service, reported USA TODAY.

AJR was known for covering the changing media landscape since its inception in 1977, featuring profiles of news organizations and providing guidance and commentary on how journalists can better use technology or cover controversial issues. Its coverage was closely followed in the media business, along with competitors like Poynter and Columbia Journalism Review, continued the USA TODAY report. The report added, “The media service also served an educational purpose. It was tied with the curriculum at the college of journalism, and alumni went on to be reporters at publications like Reuters, Newsday, Newsweek, Capital New York and CNN. Former editor Rem Rieder is a media columnist and editor-at-large at USA TODAY.”

A release on AJR’s demise stated:

First published as Washington Journalism Review, the magazine was founded in 1977 by American University graduate student Roger Kranz. In 1979, it was purchased by Ambassador Henry Catto and his wife, Jessica Hobby Catto.

WJR came to College Park in 1987, when then-Dean Reese Cleghorn took over control of the financially struggling magazine. In 1993, the publication was renamed American Journalism Review. AJR was based at the College of Journalism and owned by the University of Maryland Foundation. In 2011, ownership of the magazine was transferred to the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

Originally published 11 times per year with a large staff, it ultimately moved to three issues per year and in the last two years as a print publication had an editor, part-time copy editor and free-lance writers and designers. Rem Rieder, who left AJR in 2013 to become a media columnist and editor at USA Today, also taught classes for students enrolled in a capstone American Journalism Review class.

Following Rieder’s departure, the College absorbed the magazine into the curriculum, publishing exclusively online with content designed and generated by students and focused on media innovation and entrepreneurship. Lisa Rossi was named news editor for the online edition of AJR in October 2013, co-teaching the AJR capstone class with Merrill’s Visiting Professor of Digital Innovation Leslie Walker.  They were assisted by Capital News Service College Park Bureau Chief Sean Mussenden. Rossi departed in March for a digital editing position at the Des Moines Register.


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