We have also been told that Remapping Debate needs to match the level of instant interactivity of other online journals. But we made a conscious decision that the site would be a place that allowed for calmness and reflection. Rapid-fire comments and counter-comments seemed antithetical to that atmosphere. So the series of means we have chosen to make available to readers to make their views, criticisms, contributions, and suggestions known—including but not limited to the old warhorse of letters to the editor—will not provide the instant gratification of instantly appearing. We will read everything we get, we will publish some letters, and we will take some advice. But, most of the time, our readers will have to wait until next week’s edition (or a personal e-mail back) to see the fruits of their submissions.
• Remaining self-critical. Michael Kinsley, in his recent post on Politico, had it right on the money, observing that intellectual dishonesty “is so built into the Washington culture that you have to force yourself to notice it,” and that great spin artists are celebrated, not exposed: “Journalists crowd around them, longing to get spun.” Maintaining a critical distance is a central part of what Remapping Debate is built to do, and, in any event, I don’t think that we’re going to be getting a lot of invitations to get close.
But, beyond this, we, like everyone, have to remain vigilant in being sure not to allow any double standards to creep into our coverage: to ask again and again whether we are meeting our aspiration to apply the same rigorous standard of probing and testing claims and evidence to each and every source. It is easy to fall short, and, where we do, we want to be able to acknowledge that quickly (to ourselves as well as to others), and to try to do better.
• Completing the process of staffing up. We’re still looking. Maybe you are, too.
Now it’s back to finishing the web forms, tweaking drop caps, and editing.