Continuity and Change at ‘The Nation’

Continuity and Change at ‘The Nation’

Continuity and Change at ‘The Nation’

This year marks my 25th anniversary as editor, and it’s time to move on. I’ll be taking on a new role as editorial director—and will remain as publisher.

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This year marks my 25th anniversary as editor of The Nation. I first came to the magazine as an intern at the outset of the Reagan years, and after years spent working here in various roles, I followed in the footsteps of remarkable people like Victor Navasky, Carey McWilliams, and Freda KirchweyThe Nation’s first woman editor.

My tenure as editor has coincided with turbulent times, both for The Nation and the nation: from the Clinton impeachment to the Supreme Court’s selection of George W. Bush in 2000; from September 11 and the invasion of Iraq to Hurricane Katrina; from America’s worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and the escalation of a new Cold War to, in 2016, the election of Donald Trump.

My years at The Nation have only heightened my respect for this extraordinary institution. I’ve savored the debates, both civil and uncivil, on matters of principle, politics, even morality, that fill its pages—and now its website. Yet I’ve also come to understand that it is possible to stay in a job for too long. I am determined that this not happen, either to me or to The Nation. These times demand that the magazine be ever bolder, ever ready to think anew. I am excited to embrace such a challenge. But when our country and the world are undergoing such extraordinary tectonic shifts, I also believe it is time for change.

So I’m delighted to announce that D.D. Guttenplan will become the magazine’s next editor, beginning on June 15. Don has long been an invaluable font of ideas, articles, and energy. He contributed for many years from the magazine’s London bureau and is currently The Nation’s editor at large. I will stay on as publisher and as the magazine’s new editorial director—and in that role, I will continue to chart the strategic direction of The Nation, working with Don and the magazines president, Erin O’Mara.

In addition to being one of our lead correspondents for the 2016 presidential campaign, Don is the author of The Next Republic: The Rise of a New Radical Majority, as well as The Nation: A Biography, the definitive history of the magazine. In 2015, we worked closely together as co-editors of The Nation’s 150th-anniversary special issue. Don also wrote the magazine’s powerful call to arms, “Welcome to the Fight,” in the hours after the 2016 election. His book American Radical: The Life and Times of I.F. Stone, about The Nation’s former Washington correspondent, won the 2010 Sperber Prize for biography.

Don is an accomplished journalist and editor working at the intersection of history, politics, and activism—and he is committed to working with a new generation of writers. He has a deep understanding of the critical role of independent journalism in our society. He produced the acclaimed documentary Edward Said: The Last Interview and wrote and presented War, Lies, and Audiotape, a radio documentary for the BBC about the Gulf of Tonkin incident and the origins of the Vietnam War. Don is a former education correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, a former columnist for New York Newsday, and a former senior editor at The Village Voice, and his essays and reporting have appeared in The Atlantic, The Guardian, Haaretz, Harper’s, the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, and The New York Times.

“I’m thrilled to be taking over at The Nation at such a crucial time in the magazine’s history and in our national life,” Don says. “The Nation is a beacon for progressive ideas, democratic politics, women’s rights, racial and economic justice, and open debate between liberals and radicals.”

Both Don and I believe in expanding the digital reach of The Nation and pushing the boundaries of our growth as a multichannel media company. Through Take Action Now, our weekly newsletter, we’re helping the Nation community take meaningful steps for political change. Through a growing list of podcasts, video projects, and partnerships, we’re telling stories in new ways. And through social media—including Twitter, where we have more than 1.24 million followers—we’re reaching new generations: Over 30 percent of the traffic at TheNation.com and of users engaging with us on Facebook are readers from 18 to 34 years old. In that spirit, and in addition to the transition in editorship, The Nation will be hiring a new executive Web editor to drive our continued online growth.

Alongside my new role as editorial director, I will edit select writers and contribute regular commentary. I will also continue writing my weekly column for The Washington Post, as well as my speaking engagements and media appearances. I’ll also be working with the Congressional Progressive Caucus and other groups to craft a progressive foreign policy. And I will continue collecting articles and essays for a forthcoming book.

This is a moment of continuity and change. Don has been an important part of The Nation and our success; he will bring bold new ideas and leadership to the magazine. And he understands that while change is inevitable, if there is one constant in The Nation’s history, it has been faith—not in political parties or policies, but in what can happen when you tell people the truth.

Onward.

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