American Journalism Review’s New Look
December 4, 2013

If you are reading these words, then you are scrolling through the brand new version of American Journalism Review.

AJR ceased its print publication in 2013 after our readers shifted their eyeballs online. This is the official launch of the new AJR.

While continuing the award-winning media criticism for which AJR has long been known, we have a new look and a new mission — to promote excellence and inspire innovation in journalism.

We will cover entrepreneurs who develop business models to support news coverage as well as visionaries tackling inventive ways to tell stories.

Our bias, if we have one, is toward novel ideas that support high quality journalism.  We will cast a skeptical eye on industry developments that distract from that need.  We are not interested in promoting innovation for innovation’s sake.

We will explore what is working — and what could work — in an industry in flux.

We will research cutting-edge ways in which journalism is now being produced, such as through the viewfinder of Google Glass, or from computers that spit out written stories. We’ll also look at the state of the industry today, asking in our debut edition, for example, what has happened to photojournalists when reporters now routinely use Instagram?

In an era of new tools, there are new rules. Who is making them? Who is breaking them? We will deliver up-to-date information on the emerging technologies, storytelling methods, business models, advertising formats and ethics expectations in this era of rapid change.

In our Voices section, we will talk about a wide range of topics, including social media, journalism education and media criticism, to name just a few. We expect robust debate in our comments section from an informed audience — don’t be afraid to share your insights. We want to hear them.

The new AJR is published online in the heart of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Merrill Dean Lucy Dalglish is the publisher.

We are the editors– a trio of faculty members, Leslie Walker and Sean Mussenden (co-editors) and Lisa Rossi (news editor.)

Together we manage AJR’s day-to-day operation, overseeing a team of interns and students producing high-quality journalism as part of their course work and working with freelance journalists, too.

We are developing AJR into a more participatory and interactive platform for coverage of the news industry.

We will be adding more interactive features early in 2014. We also are now actively recruiting contributing writers and multimedia storytellers, so don’t be shy about contacting us if you’d like to participate in the new AJR. (Use this form to apply to write for AJR.)

Founded in 1977, AJR was initially called the Washington Journalism Review. At one time, the print version of AJR was published 11 times a year. Over the years it has won many awards for its deeply reported, throughtful stories that people in the industry want to read.

The new AJR remains committed to delivering thoughtful, fair and accurate news. And the best part? This is only the beginning.

What do you think of the new AJR? Tell us your reactions in our comments section below, send us an email to and join the conversation on our Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest pages.

— Sean Mussenden, Leslie Walker, Lisa Rossi


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