Sometime around 1440, a German craftsman named Johannes Gutenberg living in the city of Strasburg filled a frame with metal type, brushed oily ink on top, pressed paper down to print the words and created the world of modern print publishing.
Gutenberg's motivation for innovation was to provide printed matter for the religious market in his day. In 1455 he completed the printing of his famous Bible, of which 49 mostly complete copies survive. Gutenberg's revolutionary innovation lead to the mass availability of books and modern journalism.
Skip a few hundred years to late 19th Century in New York City. Newspaper and magazine publishers wanted to press forward with the introduction of color photos into their publications. However, they were stymied by the inability to print photos or colors on high speed presses necessary for mass media.
Louis Klopsch, a German immigrant, had heard that fellow German immigrants in Chicago had perfected such presses but were having trouble penetrating the New York City publishing world. Klopsch wanted to move his magazine Christian Herald, which was later associated with The Bowery Mission, into the forefront of journalism, so he bought some of the presses and brought them to the city. His presses made it possible for many of the city's mass market magazines to utilize color printing. The Christian Herald's circulation also skyrocketed as a result of the higher quality. It became one of the largest magazines in the United States, reaching a million circulation at its peak. Klopsch also invented the popular idea of the "red letter" Bible in which Jesus' words are marked in red letters.
In 2010 A Journey stepped into the innovation explosion of online news media. And the innovations keep coming; the meetings of the Online News Association are one of the hottest tickets in town. Last year, we launched our mobile design, a very clean, simple approach. Consequently, the number of our viewers who only experience us through mobile devices has been increasing quite rapidly. So, we have redesigned our mobile look to provide more access points to the riches of our articles, videos, podcasts and other features of our online magazine.
Every single day we make changes to our online magazine to make the reading and viewing experience better. Many of the changes are not so visible improvements such as increasing the speed of loading on mobile devices and making it easier to access our archives.
We are also adding to our capabilities to do data-driven journalism by increasing our data archives, mapping capabilities and innovative graphic design.
What is not new is our commitment to roll up our sleeves to journey down the streets and alleyways of New York City to discover the coolest and most useful news about religion. We will continue to hone our ability to present religious news that is useful both to the believers of all stripes as well as to people of non-faith. It means that we have to strive to empathetically understand the heart and minds of the people whom we report upon and our audience. We think that this way of reporting is the future of successful journalism.
We like to say, "The killer app is sympathetic objectivity."