Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GJIA Launches Website

The Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, the official publication of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, is launching a new website at the end of this month, with hopes of extending its brand in the academic community.

“The goal is to facilitate academic community because we have so many different authors and so many different pieces coming out,” Co-Online GJIA Editor-in-Chief Catie Burleson (SFS ’15) said. “We wanted to have the functionality of really creating a web community.”

New features include specific webpages for authors and easier maneuverability through articles. From Jan. 1 to Nov. 13, 2013 the website received 91,969 visits and 157,057 page views.

“I think it will definitely enhance our online edition,” Co-Online GJIA Editor-in-Chief Daye Shim Lee said (SFS ’14). “Georgetown Journal online started out as a small blog with staff writers contributing to it but now it has become a more legitimate online publication, featuring really prominent experts in the field of IR.”

With four years of experience working at the journal, Lee became GJIA’s online Editor-in-Chief this past year. According to Lee, who came from the print journal, a large learning curve was involved with online.

“I learned a lot about how fast-paced the online publications are and what we need to do to survive in that area of publication,” Lee said.

The print version of GJIA is published biannually, while the online version includes anywhere from two to five new articles every week, with funds for the journal coming directly from the SFS Dean’s Office.

“We are looking to build more bridges between print and online and we definitely use online to feature the print content,” Burleson said. “With online, we have different columns that focus on different themes that are always turning over.”

While scholars and experts in a particular field mainly write the articles that are published in the journal, students play a main role in editing and reviewing.

“The journal is actually really interesting because it’s probably the only organization on campus that I know of that actually has a hybrid staff that is comprised of undergrads, graduate students and actually Ph.D. candidates as well,” GJIA Executive Director William Handel (SFS’ 14) said. “When you work on the staff, you really get exposed to people that are at all different points in their career track at all different levels of experience.”

Due to GJIA’s spread of international topics, it is written for a readership that largely includes readers outside of the Georgetown community.

“The journal’s readership is mostly an amalgamation of government, business leaders, policymakers, think-tankers and major institutions around the world,” Handel said. “We would love for more of our readership to come from students, especially Georgetown students, but it’s notoriously difficult for us to retain their attention for a long period of time and that’s something we always struggled with.”

The readership for the journal is mainly in the Washington, D.C. proper area and the international community, among which the United Kingdom, India, Canada and Australia rank most prominently.

“We are looking for scholars, for experts with a very good understanding of what goes into their industry and their field,” GJIA Undergraduate Editor-in-Chief Medha Raj (SFS ’14) said. “We know who our readership is and we try to cater to that readership.”
Student readership at Georgetown has been a continual issue for the journal. Although GJIA is internationally known, students seem to turn to other publications on campus.

“Georgetown students are very busy and everyone has work they need to do for class,” Handel said. “There are so many publications out there that, if a Georgetown student only has a limited number of hours in a day to read stuff, they probably won’t turn to us first.”

Nevertheless, GJIAhas also made great strides in recent years. With many of the Georgetown students at the journal having worked there for multiple years, they have seen tremendous growth.

“I think it definitely grew a lot in terms of substance, but I think what we do need to continue to work on increasing our presence in the Georgetown community,” Lee said.  “We are very well-known and respected in D.C. and elsewhere and we have global readership, but here at Georgetown, I don’t think as many people know what we do.”

One way that the journal tries to reach out to readers in the Georgetown and greater D.C. area is by holding events.

Choosing themes for the different issues is another important aspect the journal must consider when constructing their print issue.

“We look at what is most current and get a variety of perspectives,” Raj said. “Myself and Warren Ryan (GRD ’14), the graduate editor-in-chief, go through topics and decide what we think is most fitting, not just in terms of timing, but also in terms of what is more cutting edge and what other journals aren’t necessarily writing about.”

As a student organization, the journal is highly dependent on its undergraduate and graduate staff to continue to build the publication and help it grow in the future.

“It’s so dependent on the talent here and the level of commitment that they can put into it and the ownership they take,” Burleson said. “We have seen a lot of ownership being taken and the team really being built and we hope that continues in the future and expands to be broader than just our staff.”

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