It has never been more vital for the independent architectural press to expose the lack of transparency in the procurement of public buildings and cronyism in the construction industry. It is my pleasure to be returning to the AJ during this period of journalistic excellence, illustrated by stories such as the Garden Bridge debacle exposed by newly promoted managing editor Will Hurst.
I want the AJ to continue to champion fairness, digging for the stories that really matter to architects: how public money is being spent, what is happening to our cities, which way the political wind is blowing, and who’s winning work, and why. I also want to enhance the creative intelligence the AJ provides through its award-winning buildings coverage – so critical to the continuing education of the profession – adding new formats such as video and revisits.
This redesigned magazine will feature more buildings, plans, sections and details in every issue
In my new role as editor-in-chief of both the AJ and The Architectural Review, it is my responsibility to usher in a new chapter for these two historic brands, not only as a caretaker of their 120-year-old legacy, but ensuring they evolve and progress in this time of change in the publishing industry.
Now that 80 per cent of AJ subscribers are signed up to our digital services, from the website to email newsletters, we considered whether the AJ should now become a digital-only publication. Since the new mobile website launched in December, more than a quarter of subscribers are reading the AJ on their phone or tablet. The AJ’s growing community of more than 196,000 followers on Twitter shows our reach online. Our awards and events, from Small Projects to AJ100, are highlights of the architectural calendar.
Listening to the market over the past few months, it is clear that some subscribers value print for its unparalleled presentation of buildings through drawings and photography. We’ve carefully assessed, and will continue to assess, the changing digital habits of our readership and the increased demand for daily content to ensure we are providing the right coverage on the right platform at the right time.
That’s why, on 10 March, a new AJ print edition will launch to complement our online coverage, ushering in a new era of post-digital publishing. This redesigned magazine, arriving fortnightly on Thursdays, will feature more buildings, plans, sections and details in every issue, as well as more in-depth news and client profiles. The AR remains at its current print frequency.
Both brands will develop new digital products and events under this new structure, maintaining dedicated staff and distinct identities, while benefiting from the shared expertise and knowledge of both teams as they continue to evolve across print, digital, awards and live events – and we are recruiting.
The AJ has already invested in a new website on a responsive platform with a focus on giving you the information you need on a day-to-day basis, anywhere, including competitions, regional news, planning and regulatory updates and competitor intelligence. In a few weeks we’ll be launching a new series of email briefings exclusively for subscribers, delivering what you need to know straight into your inbox.
I look forward to hearing from you about these exciting changes. The AJ will continue to be shaped – and must be shaped – by its subscribers. Do let me know what you think.