The Nation launches redesigned website, celebrates 150th anniversary of debut issue
Since 2011, TheNation.com has seen its audience grow exponentially year over year, with nearly half of its readers coming from mobile devices
New York, NY – July 6, 2015 — The Nation, America’s oldest weekly magazine, celebrates its milestone anniversary today with a complete redesign of TheNation.com. Exactly 150 years from the debut of The Nation’s first issue, the reimagined website ensures that The Nation remains committed as ever to instigating progress; to igniting debate and inspiring change; and to embracing new platforms and technologies to reach ever-growing audiences. (Richard Kim, executive editor of The Nation, explains the logic and logistics of our new look in an editor’s letter here.)
“Celebrating The Nation’s 150th anniversary is an exciting and humbling event in this era of extraordinary upheaval in journalism,” says editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel. “And while I am delighted to honor the magazine’s illustrious history, these times demand that The Nation be ever bolder, willing to unshackle our imaginations and ready to think anew. The site redesign is elegant, nimble and innovative, and I believe it will ensure that The Nation is more vital than ever for the next generation of readers.”
The redesign is the culmination of a year-long effort by the editorial team to position The Nation as a thought-leader online, enhance cross-platform user experience, and strengthen the magazine’s unique business model, which draws on advertisements, subscriptions, and the Nation Builders, a pioneering donor program.
Since 2011, TheNation.com has seen its audience grow exponentially year over year, with traffic driven by a vibrant social media presence and accessed across numerous platforms — nearly half of its readers come from mobile. In the past few years, online visits have quadrupled to TheNation.com, now reaching nearly 3 million unique readers a month. The largest online demographic is people aged 25 to 34, the coveted millennial generation, with ten percent of its readership younger than 24.
The new site, created in partnership with Blue State Digital and Diaspark, engages these youthful readers and seeks to deliver on the unique needs of The Nation’s audience: a sophisticated, vocal, and community-oriented constituency. With its design informed by The Nation’s identity as a mission-driven magazine and Blue State Digital’s far-reaching reputation as an organization that invests in change, TheNation.com invites readers to take actions that collapse the distinction between passive consumer and informed activist. (Launching our action program today is an open letter calling for 2016 presidential candidates to refuse to accept money from fossil-fuel companies, cosponsored by the environmental group 350 Action.)
“The digital revolution has empowered our single greatest asset — The Nation ambassador,” explains executive editor Richard Kim. “Someone who subscribes, donates, follows us on social, signs our petitions. We’ve designed the home page and channel fronts with this reader in mind, to give a sense of The Nation as a digital magazine in real time, on a platform that enhances our ability to grow this vibrant, spirited community.”
“Blue State Digital’s strategy, user experience, and design work with The Nation was a collaborative effort — one which aims not only to bring out the best in progressive journalism, but to introduce it to an ever bigger audience,” adds Matt Ipcar, executive creative director of Blue State Digital.
Here’s what’s new:
Curated: The revamped website blends a sense of urgency and timeliness with the provocative and prescient writing that is The Nation’s hallmark. A flexible, modular infrastructure enables editors to quickly and thoughtfully respond to breaking news by clustering related stories in meaningful ways. On the homepage, and each topical page front, readers will find not just headlines, but smart groupings of articles that offer depth and context to frame political issues of the day from a range of Nation voices. In this, the new site blends the magazine’s history and deep archive with current events.
Dynamic: TheNation.com now offers readers varied entry points into the news by highlighting subjects, authors, and content from the magazine and its bloggers, crafting at once a more visually varied and coherent experience that encourages reader engagement. In addition to a dedicated multimedia player on the homepage, storytelling capabilities are bolstered by attractive multimedia presentations within articles — adding texture with pull quotes, inline images, and embeddable videos.
Anchored: A storied print history remains central to The Nation’s identity and the redesign embraces these roots. Though breaking news continues to migrate online, the print edition retains a distinct mission, offering considered comment and the opportunity to give pause, to focus readers’ attention on matters of critical interest that go unreported elsewhere. The new site showcases the singularity of the weekly print edition.
Free: For the first few months, for the first time ever, all Nation content will be freely available — from the seventy-odd online exclusives published weekly to the full riches of our regular print issues. (*Exception: our rich archives, housed on a separate platform, will still be subscribers-only.)
Actionable: Subscription, donation, “TakeAction” petition touts are seamlessly incorporated into the site alongside prominent share tools, Twitter quotes, and a “highlight to email/tweet” function enable readers to amplify The Nation voice and support our common mission of building a better, more equitable, and sustainable world.
The Nation has chronicled the breadth and depth of American political and cultural life from the debut of the telegraph to the rise of Twitter. Throughout 2015, the magazine is celebrating its 150th with a blockbuster special issue, new digital products, a behind-the-scenes book on its history, and a feature-length documentary by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, and an ongoing series of nationwide anniversary events fostering dialogue, debate, reflection, and action.