NJ: Still A Bible, Just Less Holy

njcov0107.jpgThose lucky enough to get National Journal hand-delivered on Friday mornings may notice that the magazine looks a lot different today. Most obviously there’s a lot more color.

Perhaps the biggest shake-up, though, for the wonky read is the holes are gone! Ever since the first issue in November 1969, the journal has been hole-punched to allow readers to store past copies in binders. Now in the internet age, though, most readers don’t keep shelf after shelf of National Journals and instead search the online archives. Ipso facto, the holes are gone.

The type is also larger and there are more reader-friendly elements like graphs, pretty subheads, and the like. All told, though, that means that what used to be the definitive 7 gazillion-word article on tort reform prospects in the postindustrial age as influenced by global warming over the subartic region is likely only, under the new format, to be 6 gazillion words long.

Be still our hearts.

As Publisher John Fox Sullivan and Charlie Green promise in a note to readers, though, the National Journal’s mission hasn’t changed. As if to prove that point, the first page of the magazine this week features inside-inside-the-beltway trivia: What was on the first page of the Federal Register in 2006, mainly that the Agriculture Department is expanding feeding programs for homeless youth.

How could we have missed that?