Washington, D.C. (September 6, 2017)—Today The Atlantic is introducing The Masthead, a premium membership that delivers exclusive stories, insights, and analysis from The Atlantic’s journalists and thinkers—built on a direct relationship with members. The Masthead is a distinctly new editorial offering—not simply more of, or different access to, The Atlantic’s existing work. Dedicated editors will rely on member input to directly shape coverage and answer their biggest questions, all while tapping The Atlantic’s newsroom and network of experts for exclusive stories and insights. Founding memberships are available today to current Atlantic subscribers, and will be advertised more widely in the coming weeks.
The Atlantic’s editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg is announcing The Masthead in an email to existing subscribers; his full message is below.
The Masthead complements The Atlantic’s five other editorial platforms—the flagship 160-year-old magazine, TheAtlantic.com, events, video, and audio—by offering an avenue through which The Atlantic’s readers can connect with its journalism on an intimate, personal level. At launch, members will receive:
- Daily exclusive stories and insights from Atlantic editors, writers, and contributors
- Weekly conversations with journalists
- Monthly in-depth reports on issues of global import and consequence
- A members-only forum, where readers can explore ideas with other Masthead members and give feedback to editors
- Previews of upcoming stories and recaps of arguments and debates across the news landscape
The Masthead launches as The Atlantic has expanded its subscription business this year, and is now reaching the most subscribers to the magazine since the early 2000s (print subscriptions surpassed 570,000 in July 2017, +13% compared to 2H 2016). Despite an industry decline of 12 percent at the newsstand last year, The Atlantic also grew single-copy newsstand sales by 19 percent. TheAtlantic.com audience increased 36 percent in the first half of 2017 over the same period last year, and topped a near-record 38 million monthly unique visitors in August.
Please find Jeffrey Goldberg’s announcement of The Masthead below:
Over the past several weeks, we at The Atlantic have been telling you about a major project we are launching: our first-ever membership program.
This morning, as the project—called The Masthead—goes live, I wanted to write you to explain why I think this is so important, and why I hope that you become a founding member of this endeavor.
I have several main goals as The Atlantic’s editor in chief. The first, and most urgent, of course, is to argue for the importance of fact-driven journalism at a time when the president of the United States has declared the press to be the enemy of the American people. My next three goals are related to the first: to make sure we publish journalism that honors our history; to guarantee, by extension, that we provide you, our readers, with journalism that helps you become more informed; and, finally, to ensure that The Atlantic, which celebrates its 160th birthday this November, reaches its bicentennial year as a thriving, self-sustaining business of global reach and clear purpose.
I come from a print background, but I believe that for our journalism to thrive, it should appear on as many platforms as possible. Our founders—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and other eminences of their day—had only one vehicle for sharing their ideas: the printed journal. Today, The Atlantic manifests itself in print, in digital, in video, in live events, and in podcasting.
And now comes a new platform, one that will provide you with direct access to our best writers and thinkers. Our goal is to build a closer relationship with you, one in which you help inform our coverage; one in which we seek answers to your most pressing questions about the world today; one in which we put our newsroom to work delivering you insights and analysis about the issues you care about most.
I am asking you today to join me and become a founding member of The Masthead, a membership club for Atlantic readers. You will not only receive some of our best journalism, written exclusively for our members; you will be directly underwriting The Atlantic’s future. I believe that this is a worthy project, launching at a moment rife with challenges for independent journalism.
Please join us in this next adventure. See below for more details about how you can join The Masthead.
Editor in Chief