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Key links:
Primary website:
qz.com
Primary Twitter:
@qz

Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

Quartz is an online business publication that provides reporting and analysis on the global economy. The site was launched in 2012 by Atlantic Media, owner of The Atlantic, The Wire and National Journal.

The site is based in New York and has a newsroom staff of around 25 reporters, editors and developers. In building the publication from scratch, Atlantic Media poached notable talent from similarly oriented titles, beginning with editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney, who came from The Wall Street Journal. Other staff members came from publications like The Economist, Bloomberg, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and Reuters.

Quartz was imagined as a free digital publication with a strong focus on reaching readers on mobile devices. As a result Quartz’s site was designed as a mobile-first reading experience. Quartz developers used responsive design to build a site that has the look and functionality of an app, but adapts to the screen size a user prefers, from mobile phones to desktop browsers. As the site’s editors write on their About Us page, “Call us a website or, if you like, a web app: Quartz combines the benefits of the free and open Web with the elegance of an application.”

In April of 2013 Quartz updated its website with a more minimalist site design and simpler navigation, while also adding new features for offline reading. It redesigned the site again, this time adding a homepage, in August 2014.

Another remarkable aspect of Quartz design is that it eschews the normal news layout of multiple headlines and in favor of a presenting readers with one lead story displayed in full.

In July 2013 the site reported reaching 5 million monthly users, 2 million in the U.S. As of 2014, about 40 percent of the site’s traffic came from mobile and 70 percent came from social links. The Atlantic’s goal, as of 2013, was for the site to be profitable by 2015. Quartz launched an India-specific site in 2014.

With a relatively small staff and ambitions for global business coverage, Quartz created an editorial strategy that revolves around the concept of “obsessions” as the organizing principal for reporting rather than beats. The obsessions at launch ranged from generalist to more specific, including areas like “China’s slowdown,” “Euro crunch,” “startups,” and “the mobile web.” That structure, according to Quartz Global News Editor Gideon Lichfield, allows the organization to follow larger phenomenons in the business world and adapt to changes more quickly.

Quartz is an advertising-supported site, launching with four companies — Boeing, Chevron, Cadillac, and Credit Suisse — and expanding to 15 by May 2013. Though the site employs display advertising, Quartz also sells so-called “sponsored content,” an ad format that presents messaging from companies in a design similar to editorial content. Aside from advertising, the site generates revenue through its events division, Quartz Live, which is similar to the The Atlantic’s events program. Events were expected to provide 10 percent of Quartz’s revenue in the program’s first year.

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Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
April 29, 2022 / Laura Hazard Owen
“An audible gasp”: Quartz, once a high-flying startup, has sold to G/O Media — Business news site Quartz began life 10 years ago as an ambitious news site targeting the “global business elite.” It saw its competition as the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Economist. It...
April 14, 2022 / Sarah Scire
Quartz is dropping its paywall (but hopes its 25,000 paying members will stick around for the newsletters) — In May 2019, Quartz put up a paywall. A little less than three years later, the business-focused news site is taking it back down. With the short-lived metered paywall out of the way, the vast majority of Quartz content ...
Feb. 22, 2022 / Sarah Scire
In a bid for new reader revenue, Quartz launches a membership for Africa — Quartz, the digital news site covering global business, has launched a location-specific subscription for its work on innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa. The new Quartz Africa membership is the outlet’s seco...
Nov. 16, 2021 / Sarah Scire
About a third of news organizations have already adopted a remote or hybrid working model — Hybrid working will be the norm for many journalists, according to a new report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. Just 9% of news organizations plan to reject remote work entirely and return to thei...
May 15, 2020 / Laura Hazard Owen and Sarah Scire
“Prior assumptions about our business no longer apply”: Cuts pile up at Vice, Quartz, The Economist, BuzzFeed, and Condé Nast — Hundreds of journalism jobs — primarily, though not exclusively, at digital media outlets — were cut this week, piling up alongside thousands of other media job losses that have accelerated during the COVID-19 pandem...

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Primary author: Justin Ellis. Main text last updated: September 11, 2014.
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The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper owned by Tribune Publishing. It is the United States’ fourth-largest daily newspaper and among the top five newspaper websites in the country. The Times was owned by the Otis/Chandler family from its founding in 1881 until 2007. The family-owned Times Mirror Co. merged with the Tribune Co….

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