Our readers may have noticed that Gateway Journalism Review has a new logo: our name with a section of the famed Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Over the years, we’ve had numerous iterations of this and inconsistent display online, across social media and in our quarterly print magazine. The new logo represents the overhaul we’ve undertaken in the past year to focus our editorial content and deliver media news to our readers that they can’t find anywhere else.
The logo was designed by Abbey La Tour, a recent graduate of Southern Illinois University–Carbondale, where our news operations are headquartered. La Tour has been GJR’s design chief for two years and also works as a copyeditor and paginator at The News-Enterprise in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. She has previously worked for The Peoria Journal Star, Small Newspaper Group, American Institutes for Research and The Daily Egyptian.
The logo’s typeface is “Roboto Slab,” which La Tour describes as a versatile typeface that holds up online as well is in print. “We wanted to stay consistent with our history and namesake so we made sure to hold onto the incorporation of the St. Louis Arch in our updates logo,” she said. “We plan to carry these changes throughout or website and magazine.”
Gateway Journalism Review has been continuously publishing since 1970. Through a digital news operation and quarterly print magazine. GJR critically analyzes the mass media in the Midwest stretching from Ohio to Oklahoma and from North Dakota to Arkansas – and beyond. Our goal is to regularly review journalism, new media, photojournalism, documentary, advertising and public relations to help ensure that our efforts as communicators are transparent and ethical.
Our recently redesigned web site and quarterly print magazine are the phoenix of St. Louis Journalism Review, a publication that was launched 50 years ago by Charles Klotzer, who escaped the Holocaust through China to start a typesetting business in St. Louis. St. Louis Journalism Review continues to exist as our non-profit foundational arm, and GJR continues to report on the St. Louis media. But we also have expanded in the past year to focus on Chicago and other Midwestern media markets. We believe that community journalism is as important as ever and particularly so as the dangerous anti-press rhetoric from the president of the United States filters down to smaller communities. We believe it’s our duty and responsibility as the journalism review based in the Midwest to cover newsmakers in self-defined “Trump Country,” to hold journalists accountable and to highlight the incredible efforts at watchdog reporting that are taking place in the smallest media markets in the country. While many look to the well-funded New York Times and Washington Post to save us, we look to the Pinckneyville Press in Southern Illinois, to City Bureau in Chicago and community papers such as the St. Louis American and Webster-Kirkwood Times in St. Louis.
Some of the stories we’ve written in the past several months have covered the elimination of the copy desk at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, how Chicago media outlets ignored the R. Kelly story for decades and the recent launch of the Illinois Press Foundation’s new Springfield news bureau. We’ve also written about the Post-Dispatch and Chicago Tribune’s failure to comply with new EU privacy regulations, how media outlets contribute to segregation in Chicago and acclaimed designer Mario Garcio’s vision for mobile journalism. In recent years we’ve also published special editions on the impeachment of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, the Rauner-controlled media in Illinois, the remarkable civil rights and social media moment of the Ferguson, Missouri, protests and the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights.
A recent analysis of our website (March 1 through April 30) shows that the majority of our readers are in Illinois, followed by Missouri, Texas and Kansas. Of the big cities where we track readers, Chicago is No. 1. We primarily draw our readers from social media. That’s one of the reasons we recently hired an intern from Eastern Illinois University to manage our social media for the summer. (Analicia C. Haynes was the editor of the Daily Eastern this past year). We are well aware of the importance not only for her but also for us as we try to grow our audience, which includes over 2,000 email subscribers to our weekly newsletter.
That weekly newsletter offers original content and aggregates media news focused on the Midwest, on President Trump’s war on the media, on photojournalism, on local journalism and on issues of particular interest to journalists of color. We embrace Maynard’s Fault Lines as a matter of principle and practice to make certain that our stories and our sources represent a diversity of age, gender, ethnicity, geography and socio-economic class.
This past academic year for the first time we had an internship program, and currently have students from Dominican University, Columbia College Chicago, Eastern Illinois University, DePaul University and California State University at Long Beach working for us – along with undergraduate and graduate students at SIUC. We had students from Columbia College Chicago and the University of Kansas in the past. Our internship allows student journalists to explore the industry where they are headed and make contacts along the way. We don’t recruit them simply to be content creators that enable our existence. We work closely with them to help them grow as journalists, teaching them interviewing and story organizational skills, how to create visual elements to accompany their articles and what it means to hold themselves accountable. We hope that at the end of their internships, they have an understanding of our industry that exceeds any that an introductory journalism could provide. We also hope that they take our commitment to Fault Lines and make it their own as they go forward into the profession.
All of that is hard to sum up in a logo, but we tried. Unlike the Gateway Arch, we are not the tallest or the biggest “man-made” structure. We are well aware that Columbia Journalism Review, the only other journalism review in the country, has more resources and a much larger staff. But like the Arch, which opened to the public just two years before our publication’s launch, we know our importance is that we exist, serving the middle of the country and the thousands of journalists who start here, pass through here and remain here to tell our stories outside of the elite coastal media centers.
Jackie Spinner is the editor of Gateway Journalism Review. Follow her on Twitter @jackiespinner.