Here’s how well The Atlantic understands its audience

2022-05-05. “We have talked to thousands of current, prospective and cancelled subscribers. We know that when it comes to topics of great interest that are more genre specific, the audience is well served. We are still a general interest news magazine, but there are a few things that set us apart from our competitive set,” says Emily Goligoski, Executive Director, Audience Research, for The Atlantic.

Credit: The Atlantic

by Neha Gupta | May 5, 2022

It’s sometimes easy to forget that treating the user experience as an art and science as it is practised now is a relatively recent addition in the journalism industry. 

The Atlantic, an American magazine and multi-platform publisher, aims to build on human-centred journalism and how it gains and uses insights to create powerful experiences for its consumers. 

The publishing company, whose majority owner is Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple’s Steve Jobs, has spent two years studying non-readers, subscribers, podcast listeners, and people in other audiences of interest to identify addressable concerns.

Goligoski joined WAN-IFRA’s recent virtual Newsroom Summit to give a primer on the brand’s business and editorial strategy as it relates to user experience.
Why bother with qualitative research?
The Atlantic does so to demonstrate its value and how it stands apart from its contemporaries. The current journalism marketplace is extremely crowded with every news organisation in competition for users’ time and limited spending potential – arguably, their most precious resources. 

The Atlantic newsroom is driven by a combination of editorial instinct, business acumen and reader insights, combined with data science to make informed decisions to help the brand grow. 

“Being able to demonstrate how we create our work and seeking feedback throughout the design process is critical because our readers are not us. So, we need to go out and learn about them,” Goligoski sai...

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Neha Gupta

Multimedia Journalist

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