COLLEGE PARK, Md. – American Journalism Review will no longer be published by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. “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. “Unfortunately, we are unable to provide the resources needed to keep AJR the vibrant, innovative online publication it deserves to be.”
A Brief History of American Journalism Review
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.
AJR was dependent on advertising and philanthropy during the years it was a print publication.
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.
“Over the past two years, we have been enormously grateful to the University of Maryland for financially supporting the online magazine as part of our curriculum,” Dalglish said. “It was a valuable lesson in innovation and entrepreneurship for our students. We plan to use the lessons we’ve learned in those classes to provide a new digital publishing capstone class.”
For more information contact:
Dean Lucy Dalglish
Philip Merrill College of Journalism
The mourning of AJR is less about a decline in press criticism than the loss of an institution. By