Audience Engagement Digital Publishing
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What The Atlantic learned from two years studying reader needs: The Media Roundup

What The Atlantic learned from two years studying reader needs

The Atlantic is keen to know what its readers (and listeners) want from it as well as other media. In this piece, executive director of audience research Emily Goligoski outlines five ‘needs’ her team has gathered from research done over two years.

Current, prospective, and former subscribers want:

  • Deeper clarity and context
  • Help discovering new ideas
  • Their assumptions challenged
  • A meaningful break
  • Writers at the top of their craft
What The Atlantic learned from two years studying reader needs

Why bother? “The reader needs help me stay intentional in how we’re using our readers’ time,“ says Associate editor Isabel Fattal. “I use them, along with other editorial priorities and programming methods, to make sure we’re giving our audiences a balanced reading list.”

We don’t need a global news brand. We need a globally literate media.

There’s been a lot of commentary around The Smiths’ ideas to launch a global news brand. The general thrust of the criticism centres on the idea that two white, male, American professionals should be deciding what the world needs to know. This from Isabelle Roughol moves beyond the personalities to question the very validity of trying to serve a global audience.

“Better opportunities for both engagement and monetization”

WNIP continues to dig into the detail of the Reuters Institute’s Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions 2022 report. Today it’s highlighting product development, noting that 67% of publishers plan to focus on iterating and improving existing products this year. In comparison, just 32% intend to launch new products and brand extensions.

Quiz! Which new media company said this?

How well do you know your new media mantras? Take Defector’s Quiz, matching the quotes or statements from the founders of the media companies trying to save journalism. Watch out for the fakes. Check your answers at the end and let us know how you did.


This content originally appeared in The Media Roundup, a daily newsletter from Media Voices. Subscribe here: