New Texas, New Observer


By the time you’ve reached this page, you might—just possibly!—have noticed that something’s different about this magazine. Drastically different, in fact. Maybe you’re singing hallelujahs, delighted that the good ol’ Observer finally looks as snazzy as it reads. Maybe, on the other hand, you’re shocked and mortified and wondering, “Hey, who stole my Observer?”

Change can be hard, we know—so hard, in fact, that the look and feel of this magazine have evolved in only the most gentle and barely noticeable ways throughout most of our 55-year history. A healthy respect for tradition can be a virtue, of course. But we couldn’t help feeling that, especially in terms of the visual experience the Observer offered, we’d been way too respectful for way too long. So we’ve given it more than a facelift; we’ve given the Observer a new face altogether.

And brace yourself: There’s more. Later this month, we’ll be uncorking a brand-new, highly interactive, daily online Observer as well.

We hope, of course, that you’ll simply adore the new magazine and Website. And if you don’t, we hope you’ll find your peace with all this newness. Especially when you see that while the shell may be glossy and colorful and dynamic, the kernel inside—our fearless investigative reporting, incisive political commentary and revelatory cultural coverage—remains as strong, pungent and substantial as ever.  

We’ve added new wrinkles: broader, deeper cultural reporting from around the state; new columns by editor Bob Moser and contributing writers Robert Leleux and Ruth Pennebaker; and some of Texas’ finest documentary photography on the inside back page. At the same time, we’ve restored to our masthead the Observer‘s original mission statement, which begins: “We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it.”

Those fightin’ words from 1954 will guide us into the future, no matter how different we might look.

Texas is poised on the precipice of earth-shaking change, both culturally and politically, over the next few decades. That’s one of the main reasons we’re reinventing ourselves now, bringing the proudest traditions of the Observer into the 21st century. Both in print and online, this new Observer means to be a force in inspiring, envisioning and shaping a progressive tomorrow for Texas. And you can’t do that when you’re looking, literally, like yesterday’s news.

So come along for the ride, and help us forge that future.