Since the RRJ was founded in 1984, it has published two issues a year with a few exceptions. That will stop immediately, said publisher and chair of the Ryerson School of Journalism, Ivor Shapiro.
“The RRJ's always run in the red. There's always been a net cost to the school and it's growing substantial,” he said. “So when a particular activity consistently and predictably produces a net cost, you have to look at that and say, 'Is there another way of doing this?' And I think this a better way of doing it.” Shapiro said the RRJ will potentially cover its costs with the move.
The annual issue will be larger, more focused, and allow for more in-depth reporting on the previous year of journalism, Shapiro said. The Ryerson Review of Journalism provides an “unflinching” look at “current, pressing issues in Canadian journalism,” according to its website. The RRJ had experimented with winter/summer publications in recent years, but when it published in the spring and summer, it was artificially timed.
“It is in effect (already) an annual issue in two different magazines, two different editions ...We might as well just make it one a year ... and really focus our attention and our resources on making that annual issue bigger and better, have students competing to get into it.”
The RRJ will also be exploring changes to how it operates online, since there are periods where there isn't anyone staffing the magazine — which is a built-in problem with the current publication model. Shapiro said that the RRJ online is, in a sense, competing with J-Source.ca for readers, since the topics covered by either publication is essentially the same. J-Source already has a content-sharing agreement with the RRJ, and Shapiro (who is the founding editor of J-Source) left open the possibility of developing that relationship further.
The next issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism is due in the coming weeks, and the next one after that will be published in the spring of 2014.