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A platform for publishers to create longform stories, apps and ebooks with an emphasis on multimedia storytelling, opening up potential revenue streams for an old-school approach to journalism.


Atavist is a media and software company at the forefront of digital, mobile publishing. Our mission is to enable the next generation of multimedia storytelling, reaching readers across mobile devices and the Web.

Our flagship publishing arm, The Atavist—built on Atavist Create—features original pieces of longform, nonfiction journalism. Sold individually on mobile devices and e-readers as “e-singles,” The Atavist is digital-first, pushing the boundaries of multimedia publishing while always emphasizing the story above all. …

Our storytelling platform, first developed to power The Atavist, now lets anyone seamlessly integrate text, audio, video, and interactive elements into ebooks, digital magazines, and other publications, and then effortlessly publish into an iPad or iPhone app, for Kindle and Nook e-readers, and for Web browsers (in HTML5). We designed it to be the ultimate creation platform for the digital, mobile age.

The Atavist for Enterprise program helps create apps and ebooks for clients as diverse as the TED Conferences, Pearson, and The Paris Review.” Source: The Atavist

The Atavist’s founders — Evan Ratliff, Jefferson Rabb and Nicholas Thompson — are hardly the first three guys to pound away on keyboards and come up with something that attracted the attention of Silicon Valley luminaries. But most of the time the start-ups manufacture code, not journalism.

The Atavist’s brain trust may have meager credentials as entrepreneurs, but they have deep bona fides in publishing: Mr. Ratliff, the chief executive of The Atavist, is a longtime contributor to Wired magazine; Mr. Thompson is the editor of; and Mr. Rabb, the chief technology officer, spent much of his professional life designing Web sites for books. …

The small digital publishing company received good notices early on for coming up with a template for articles that seamlessly integrated video, easily toggled between print and audio versions, and let the reader control text size, scrolling rate and other features. …

Part of the reason The Atavist works is that it meets a need that its founders had in their own lives, much the way Facebook did for its founders, and was not conceived in a bald effort to exploit a market. They wanted a tool and a platform that would be fungible enough to allow articles to be sold for the iPad, the Kindle and other e-readers. Because they and others used the software, the technology has been tweaked in very practical ways.” Source: David Carr, The New York Times

The Journalism Accelerator is not responsible for the content we post here, as excerpts from the source, or links on those sites. The JA does not endorse these sites or their products outright but we sure are intrigued with what they’re up to.