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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

Around The Nation

As journalism continues to reinvent itself, The Nation is moving quickly to add robust audio, video and multimedia features. It's our belief that just as with print reporting, multimedia can serve as a vibrant platform for debate and analysis of complex issues.

We're excited, then, to announce that "The Breakdown with Chris Hayes" audiocast will be a regular weekly feature here at TheNation.com. Hayes, our Washington, D.C. Editor, has been doing "explanatory" journalism, reporting that illuminates issues and explains complicated political ideas, in The Nation for years. In "The Breakdown," a short, sharp audio feature posted every Friday, Hayes will take your questions and explain one big issue in politics each week.

The Breakdown is one of several new audio features coming from The Nation. We'll also be introducing a "Nation Conversations" podcast with exclusive audio from Nation forums and events, and "Cover Story," where editors and writers give quick reactions to breaking news. All of the audio features can be listened to here at TheNation.com; they can also be downloaded or you can subscribe to them in iTunes. And, if you're a blogger, you can embed them on your own site.

This week, Hayes takes on the question of the moment for progressive activists: Can we bust the filibuster? How? The Breakdown looks at the history of the filibuster, and the barriers to changing Senate rules.

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Our multimedia program is a work in progress, so we welcome your ideas and feedback.

A few other items from our orbit this week: 

18 Million New Jobs ...  

Keeping with our New Year's resolution of having one forward-looking, affirmative idea in each issue of The Nation, we pose a big one in our current issue: 18 million new jobs. The proposal from economist Robert Pollin may sound audacious, but as Pollin argues it's barely enough to restore the country to pre-recession levels, and it's paid for almost entirely by leveraging financial industry and private sector funds. If the Democrats want to save their seats in 2010, they should steal Pollin's ideas lock, stock and barrel. It's a must read.

On the Media Features Sebastian Jones ...

Last week's cover story, The Lobbying-Media Complex, by reporter Sebastian Jones, exposed some of the "double agents" of cable news--commentators who are also paid lobbyists. The piece was our most read of the week, and drew coverage on The Young Turks, The John Batchelor Show, Politico and others. This weekend it will be the focus of a segment of NPR's On the Media. You can download the segment or listen live at OnTheMedia.org.

Mellencamp for Senate!

Here's my segment from Tuesday's Morning Joe about an unlikely but compelling candidate to replace Senator Evan Bayh--activist, populist and recording artist John Mellencamp.

 

You Know You're On a Nation Cruise When ... 

We've never had a comedian on the Nation Cruise before, but Katie Halper (who we met through Laughing Liberally) was a hit on December's annual seminar cruise. We asked Katie for her impressions of the cruise--you can see her slideshow, You Know You're On a Nation Cruise When... here. The 2010 cruise is early this year--September--and you can find out more here.

An Award for Illustration.

We were thrilled to learn that illustrator Zina Saunders was honored in the latest issue of Communication Arts for her fantastic contribution to the magazine, "Kilcullen's Long War," a graphic we paired with a Tom Hayden essay in October. The Nation doesn't earn many plaudits for our artwork, but its an increasingly important part of the magazine and we're lucky to have found Zina. You can see her portfolio here.

That's all for this week. As always you can follow me on Twitter, or leave comments and questions below.

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