This is the first issue of the Columbia Journalism Review’s second half century, and already you’ll find a significant change aimed squarely at that unwritten future. Near the top of the masthead on page 2 is the name Cyndi Stivers, our new editor in chief, who started on December 1, and whom I’d like to publicly welcome here.
Cyndi was formerly the managing editor of EW.com, the website of Entertainment Weekly, where all she did from 2008 to 2011 was double the audience and win a slew of awards. Before that, she was the founding editor of Time Out New York. She is the past president of the American Society of Magazine Editors, and, in her early days, worked on the city desk with the tough guys at the New York Post. I hope she will have a long and successful run at CJR, extending our reach and impact, and I look forward to working with her.
I’m proud to note that she’s jumping onto a moving ship. A couple of recent mileposts: on our website, via our politics and policy desk, we’re launching what we call the Swing States Project. Thanks to generous grants from Omidyar Network and the Open Society Institute, we’re hiring writers in nine key states to provide on-the-ground analysis and criticism of the coverage of the critical presidential campaign.
Meanwhile, our News Frontier Database—our living compendium of digital news sites across the US—will, by the time you read this, have listings in all fifty states, some 220 entries so far, from Alaska Dispatch to Y’all Politics, in Mississippi. And we’ve dipped our toe into the tablet world: two pieces from the fiftieth anniversary issue—Dean Starkman’s “Confidence Game: The limited vision of the news gurus,” and Michael Shapiro’s “Tales From the Disruption: The newspaper that almost seized the future”—are available via Kindle and Kindle apps.
We’ve also established a foothold in books, with the publication of Second Read: Writers Look Back at Classic Works of Reportage, the first of a new series of Columbia Journalism Review Books, a venture with Columbia University Press. More titles are on the way, as is a lot of wonderful press criticism from all the facets of the Columbia Journalism Review.