It would be difficult to overstate the challenges Boom faces in its attempt to become a significant voice in California’s public conversation. California is a huge and enormously diverse state that has defeated most journalistic attempts (including the critically acclaimed but financially unsuccessful New West and California magazines) to treat it as a whole. Whether quarterlies can make sense, somehow, in the turbo-charged, 24/7 news cycle of the Internet Age remains an unanswered question. There are numerous other doubts that could be raised about Boom’s prospects. Still, the best academics and smartest journalists should be natural allies in the effort to bring new ideas to the public square. Boom has made a nice start toward fostering such an alliance.

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John Mecklin is the California and Nevada correspondent for the United States Project, CJR's politics and policy desk. He is the deputy editor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Follow him on Twitter @meckdevil.