The Society of Professional Journalists plans to publish another issue of The Journalist to coincide with the 2005 national convention in Las Vegas.
Society leaders said they received an overwhelmingly positive response to the 2004 issue, unveiled in New York City.
“This level of writing and reporting and design we have never had before in one of our publications, and we need to bring it back,” said Clint Brewer, Region 12 director.
The 2004 convention magazine lost $48,000, said publisher Amy Lemel.
But SPJ is still looking for ways to use the magazine to promote the organization and recoup its losses, said Lemel of ABL Marketing Strategies. SPJ hopes to sell the magazine in college and university bookstores, through journalism schools and in stores such as Barnes and Noble.
The 82-page, glossy magazine cost $183,000 to produce, said Lemel. Advertising covered $135,000 of that expense.
But some advertisers were hesitant to buy ads in a publication that did not have a track record, Lemel said.
“We didn’t get ads until late because we had nothing to show,” she said.
Ad prices ranged from $1,000 for a logo listing to $19,500 for the back cover, she said.
Brewer said the board noted the economic problems when considering whether to continue The Journalist.
“When you have something like this, you don’t let it go because it didn’t make money the first time,” he said. “Sometimes you lose the first few years, but you don’t abandon it.”
More than 3,000 copies remain from the initial press run of 15,000, said Julie Grimes, SPJ deputy executive director.
About 10,000 copies were mailed to SPJ members. The magazines will be used for advertising sales and promotional purposes, she said.
Grimes said that in making the decision to proceed with the project for another year, the organization’s board members discussed how start-up publications frequently face financial obstacles.
“The leaders have to be concerned about this because they are charged with the fiscal responsibility,” she said.
Grimes said feedback about the magazine remains positive.
“It’s a really good resource as a recruiting tool and to show the state of journalism,” she said.
The Journalist features articles by many notable professionals, including Tom Curley, president and chief executive officer of The Associated Press; television commentator Andy Rooney; and Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of The New York Times. It also contains a series of photo essays and articles reflecting on Sept. 11, 2001.
Topics and authors for next year’s magazine have not yet been determined.
Rebecca Neal is a journalism and political science major at the University of Kentucky. The senior covered the SPJ National Convention in New York City for The Working Press.