National Geographic Moving to For-Profit

It was just reported by The Washington Post that National Geographic Magazine will become a For-profit entity in the midst of a new contract with 21-Century Fox.  I assume everyone in the class knows who and what National Geographic is so I won’t waste words with a biography.  Essentially, the new partnership includes the cable channel and various other media outlets owned through The National Geographic Society. The new partnership is going to be called The National Geographic Partners.

Based on the article The National Geographic Society will remain a non-profit. The society is the part of National Geographic. I also think it’s very important to note that National Geographic (referred to as “NatGeo” from here on) has had a contract with Fox since the creation of the cable channel–as stated in the Washington Post article.

I felt this topic was very relevant to what we discussed in class in regards to how mission-driven presses may differ from profit-driven presses and thought it could start a good discussion.

This is what I found when I looked up NatGeo’s mission statement (imagine it’s in a proper block quote):

“National Geographic is a global nonprofit membership organization driven by a passionate belief in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world. Working to inspire, illuminate and teach, National Geographic reaches more than 700 million people a month through its media platforms, products, events and experiences… The Society’s commitment to integrity, accuracy and excellence has positioned “National Geographic” as a benchmark brand and a leader in publishing, photography, cartography, television, research and education.” [x]

Do you guys think the official shift to for-profit is going to have any affect in the content the press is going to produce? Personally, I don’t think this shift will make that big of a difference. The Society is going to be governed by a separate board and the magazine has been mission-driven for over 100 years.  I don’t really see why they would change that just because they’re looking to make a profit. If anything, I think it might benefit the magazine–not that there was anything wrong with it before–because it everything owned by NatGeo will be brought under one name and could make everything they do more cohesive in regards to their mission-statement.

I will post more updates as I find them.


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