AJC rolls out a whole new look on Sunday but released this video preview yesterday. It looks more like USAToday than the Wall Street Journal. Form your own opinions about what that says about the appetite of their readership (to me that says they think that readers want more entertainment than news). The video is important though because they’re really pushing “the experience” of reading a paper at a time when more and more folks have jettisoned their paper entirely and are “experiencing” it online or perhaps on their phone.
I’m not sure that a new look will save the AJC. It’s hard to believe that with nearly 5 million Atlantans that daily circulation was down to 274,999 late last fall. This represented a drop of 14% from the spring Audit Bureau Circulation report following another 9% from the period before.
As newsmakers we’ve got to be somewhat concerned about this narrowing of the traditional channel. It is definitely ammunition for persuading clients of the increasing importance of “clips” from new media. Criticize all you want but citizen journalists are going to play a large part of our media future, especially given the AJC’s plans to cut 1/3 of their editorial staff come next Friday.