Print magazines in the digital environment: editorial and positioning strategies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In recent years, the digital ecosystem has increased the rhythm of change and forced the blurring of boundaries. Parallel to
this, there was a need for innovation, seeking “new combinations", using Schumpeter’s words (2012/1934, 78). This innovation,
focused on the product or on the way that news is distributed, meant guaranteeing a presence in the digital environment.
However, this wasn't so clear to magazines, especially considering that this medium has distinguished features, a periodicity and
its online presence is not necessarily a “digital magazine” (Santos-Silva 2011): it may be an extension of the media brand, a
digital enhanced version of the magazine or a new media product itself; it may be a monthly magazine thriving in a 24-7 media.
This paper examines how the magazine media industry is innovating in the digital environment, regarding editorial process
and media brand positioning. The focus is on magazine media brands with print foundations that expanded to digital. With that in
mind, three research questions are addressed: 1) which are the main magazine brand extensions in the digital environment and
how can they relate with the print product? 2) which are the main editorial differences between the print magazine and the digital
edition of the magazine? 3) what are the main strategies to keep the magazine relevant, both in print and digital world, and to
reinforce the identity of the media brand?
To answer these questions, we conducted a content analysis of three monthly special-interest magazines—The Atlantic
(USA), Monocle (UK) and Forbes Portugal (Portugal)—looking at three print issues published between March and May 2021
and the respective digital strategy on their websites.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrans)forming Magazines
Subtitle of host publicationRethinking The Medium in The Digital Age
EditorsTim Holmes, Carla Cardoso
Place of PublicationNewcastle
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)1-5275-8566-2, 978-1-5275-8566-9
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Magazine media
  • Magazine journalism
  • Magazine innovation
  • Media innovation


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