Third, we believe it is essential to challenge policy makers and policy advocates to back up their positions, and for a reporter to probe even when it is likely that the person in question will either literally not respond to the reporter’s inquiry or else stick to a scripted answer. We think it is a disservice to readers to shy away from ferreting out non-responsiveness (a fact newsworthy in and of itself), and we’re hoping to find a couple of fearless souls who have the track record that demonstrates they agree.

All of this translates into the reality that we’ll be launching short-handed, a challenge that I had certainly hoped to avoid when we began the process.

So perhaps it is most precise to describe October 12th as “Launch I” (going live, but certainly not as robust as we’ll come to be); January 11th as “Launch II” (“with three months under their belts, it looks like these folks were serious about the kind of stories they would run”); and October 11, 2011 as “Launch III” or “Final Launch” (“they’re all grown up now; let’s see if they can meet or exceed the contributions they’ve made in their first year”).

Craig Gurian is the editor of Remapping Debate. He can be reached at cg@remappingdebate.org.