An important announcement about the future of The Engineer
Many of you may have heard rumblings over the past few days relating to the future of the print version of The Engineer. I’d like to use this opportunity to address these rumours.
The pressures on print publishing are well known. Increasing distribution and production costs, and the impact of an ongoing economic crisis on advertising revenues, have conspired to create a challenging environment for magazine publishers. At the same time, the rise of the internet — with its global reach, low production costs and unfulfilled commercial potential — presents some truly exciting opportunities.
Against this backdrop, the owner of The Engineer, Centaur Media, is proposing to close to the print version of the publication and focus all of The Engineer’s editorial and commercial resources on growing the website and other digital products. It is proposed that the 16 July issue will be the last in print.
It’s hard to know what our Victorian forbears would make of the proposal to close the magazine. Some would certainly be horrified. Others might well be astonished to know that a publication launched more than a century and half ago is still in existence. But none would have anticipated the rise of the internet — a technological development every bit as disruptive as the invention of the automobile or the aircraft.
Since the relaunch of its website at the end of 2009, The Engineer has undergone perhaps the most striking evolution in its long history. We have been able to extend our reach far beyond that of the magazine, seed daily debate on the key issues, bring our subject matter to life with video and break and analyse news in a way that’s simply not possible within the constraints of a fortnightly magazine.
Clearly this will be unwelcome news for many — If not all — of our print readers. Indeed, given the hard work we’ve put into the magazine, we’d be disappointed if its proposed closure were met with indifference.
But The Engineer will live on and, we believe, continue to grow. We have big plans for the website, including making more of our vast and fascinating historical archive, building on our news and in-depth coverage and expanding our video content. And for those who like their content with a cover and a contents page, we’re launching a monthly digital version of The Engineer that can be read on a host of mobile devices.
Finally, I’d like to reassure all of our readers that the editorial team of The Engineer remains dedicated to maintaining the high journalistic standards and spirit of enquiry that have been at the heart of this important publication since its launch in 1856.
Watch this space for more details on our future strategy.