New BioTech and health news site launches
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Published on November 4, 2015
This week the health, news, and biotech publication Stat launched, and it’s an exciting development for publishers, journalists, and communications professionals. In an era when anyone can start a blog, the launch of most new publications isn’t worth a mention, yet the focus and scale of Stat are exceptional. At a time of shrinking newspaper staffs around the country, the publisher of the Boston Globe decided to create a new publication and staff it with a team of more than 50. Reporters were hired in the technology hubs of New York and San Francisco, along with policy-focused Washington, DC. As the home to Harvard Medical School, its many teaching hospitals, and MIT, the Boston community is a logical home for Stat, but the publication has wide-reaching ambitions to serve those working in and affected by health and biotech.
A former editor from the New York Times, the previous owner of the Globe, is leading the effort. While the medical community is served with other publications, Stat has found an underserved niche. Sites such as Web MD tend to focus on medical facts, while at the other end of the spectrum a variety of academic journals emphasize case studies for medical professionals. Until the arrival of Stat there was little day to day coverage of news that affects life sciences, biotechnology, robotics, and other technology and research-inspired advances in medicine.
While the Stat online site and email newsletter are currently free, the site is certainly looking to become profitable. Stat will likely use advertising, sponsored content, and paid access to specific subscriber-only content over the coming months. They have hired a chief revenue officer that has a background in working with health-centered publisher Rodale along with previous work at a content marketing firm that produced print and video content for companies that hired them to deliver magazines, advertising, and digital content.
Stat is delivering some content in their sister publication, the Boston Globe, it is primarily a web-first publishing model, supplemented by a daily HTML email newsletter titled Morning Rounds. By contrast, when publications launched in past years the staff would need to know how to efficiently create layouts that could be sent to print by a specific deadline. Now those working with Stat and other forward-looking publishers of the future will be more likely to need different skills. Understanding how to create HTML email newsletters and the need to learn WordPress website management are becoming more important for the publishers of the future.
With the launch of Stat, the publisher of the Boston Globe is looking well beyond the traditional staples of local print journalism in a bold initiative. All publishers should hope this effort is successful.
About the author
Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the creator and editor of the Digital Classroom book series. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, and Microsoft. He delivers workshops relating to digital marketing, web analytics, SEO, and SEM. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.