After a tremendous 15-year run, marked by awards and notable achievements, Conservation magazine is taking a brief intermission to get ready for its next act.
Over the past few years, Conservation magazine’s online audience has more than doubled. But paid subscriptions haven’t kept pace. Of course, we’re not alone in this dilemma. The question that’s got the entire journalism industry in a tight spot is: who pays? It’s a question we’ve turned over and over in conversations about how to grow Conservation magazine into a financially sustainable media organization. After months of grappling, we’ve come up with a plan we’re excited about.
In Spring 2015, we’ll resume publishing under the new name, the Environmental Media Lab. In a nutshell, the Environmental Media Lab will produce the same great stories about science-based solutions to environmental problems, but we’ll deliver them on a mix of digital, print, and other platforms. Instead of producing a magazine per se, we’ll produce stories—and make each one a destination (think breaking up album sales into song sales). Our strategy is designed to reach modern media omnivores and to bring more great minds into the conversation.
The great news is that the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has committed to funding half the startup costs. So our focus over the next several months is to raise the other half and to put the back-end structures into place.
Here’s the scoop on subscriptions. They are still a vital piece of the puzzle. Your subscription will continue exactly where it left off, but it will look different. Instead of four quarterly print issues, you’ll get 12 long-form feature articles (one each month) delivered digitally to the device of your choice. Each will come with newly expanded teaching tools available exclusively to subscribers. You’ll also get two coffee table–worthy print issues each year, issues that dig deep into topics such as nature-inspired design and the connection between human health and biodiversity.
Our daily blog and weekly newsletter, “Conservation This Week,” will continue uninterrupted and free, thanks to generous support from the Wilburforce Foundation. And we’ll be adding a variety of new short articles, photo essays, and columns—such as “Background Check,” which breaks down the environmental impacts of everyday objects.
We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Dee Boersma, who is stepping down as executive editor after 15 years of service. (Read a letter from Dee here.) She cofounded the magazine and has been a steadfast champion from day one, providing advice and resources at every step. Conservation magazine wouldn’t have been possible without her.
And it would not have been possible without you either—quite literally. Grants and advertisements can hold up one side of the tent. But we’re counting on your continued support to hold up the other half. Be a player in independent environmental journalism. We’ve got your seat saved for Act II.
Kathryn Kohm and Lindsey Doermann
Brief IntermissionJanuary 8th, 2015
The First Edible-Insect FarmOctober 24th, 2014
Exporting EmissionsOctober 24th, 2014
A Kinder, Gentler Haber-BoschOctober 24th, 2014
If a Tree Falls in the Forest, How Many People Get Sick?October 24th, 2014