Greetings from your new editors. Neither of us is new to the Observer, and as co-editors we plan to continue the long tradition of great reporting and writing that drew us here to begin with. We’ll be making some alterations, too, as have all the Observer’s past editors–whose various pairs of gigantic, unfillable shoes are strewn all over the office floor.
What won’t change are the things that have always made the Observer an important publication: our writers call it like they see it. They write about things that matter to them. They write about a state which, for reasons we still haven’t quite figured out, is a breeding ground for absurdity. They explain as well as report. They wear their hearts on their pens.
As a regional journal of politics and culture, the Observer is a strange bird. We aren’t just about politics and books, and we aren’t just about Texas. But one of the strengths of this publication is that our boundaries are loose, making room for satire and poetry and investigative pieces alike. And for all anyone says about the homogenization of American culture, Texas still has its own particular cultural stew, its predilection for bad public policy, and more than its share of bizarre characters, which gives us plenty to write about.
When one of us told people up in the leafless North that she intended to return to Texas to help edit the Observer, her journalist colleagues, especially long-time reporters, offered their wholehearted, respectful congratulations. Then they confessed it had been a while since they’d seen a copy of the magazine–maybe she could send them one?
Even in Texas, this is the Observer’s predicament: though it is the best little magazine in this state, and widely respected by journalists, there are too few copies in circulation. This is slowly but surely beginning to change. Thanks to the generosity of our readers and supporters, the Observer now actually has the means to push forward with a (pardon the term) marketing campaign.
Back in 1996, the mantra in this office was “we have money for three more months, and then we’re going to have to shut the doors.” But the doors have remained open, and now we’re looking forward to the stories we plan to do in three months. We humbly predict that the coming year will be one of the Observer’s best ever. Thanks for sticking by us, and read on.