Here’s some news that will (hopefully) disappoint some readers and (surely) delight others: After eight years at the top of the masthead, this is my last issue as editor-in-chief of the print edition of Reason.
I started with the magazine back in 1993 as an assistant editor. But in a more profound way, I started with Reason some time in the late 1970s, when my brother John, then attending Rutgers (the same college that Milton Friedman attended), discovered reason at the university bookstore and sent me his old issues while I was in high school. It has been a rare treat to get a chance to helm not just my favorite magazine of all time, but the publication that more than anything else shaped my views on politics, culture, and ideas.
I owe an enormous number of people for that opportunity to steer the ship, especially former editor Virginia Postrel, who hired me, spent years making me a better journalist, and named me her successor; Bob Poole, the founder of the Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes the magazine; David Nott, the president of the foundation; and Lanny Friedlander, whom I’ve never actually met but who started reason as a college student back in May 1968.
From my first issue as editor—the April 2000 edition, which featured among other great pieces an interview with Nobel Peace Prize winner and “father of the Green Revolution” Norman Borlaug—to our pathbreaking personalized-cover edition (June 2004) to the copy you hold in your hand (which boasts stories about the promises of nanotechnology, the persistence of workplace drug testing, and the proliferation of luxury goods), Reason has always sought first and foremost to publish top-drawer journalism that explores the full range of “Free Minds and Free Markets.” We’ve always tried to bring a true libertarian alternative to the played-out politics of the conventional right-left spectrum. I like to think that we succeeded some of the time. Or at least had fun trying.
Our iconoclastic, happy-warrior tradition will continue more strongly than ever under my successor, Matt Welch, who worked at Reason with me from 2003 to 2005 before moving to the Los Angeles Times’ opinion section. It’s nothing less than exciting to turn the magazine over to someone with greater talent and skill than my own.
And it’s nothing less than exciting to tell you about my new dual gig: editor of reason online (reason.com) and reason.tv, the videojournalism website we launched in October 2007. Anchored by an ongoing series of documentaries starring Price Is Right host Drew Carey and featuring constantly updated original content, ranging from interviews with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain to exposés of police misconduct to dada-influenced art projects, reason.tv is the next frontier for “Free Minds and Free Markets.” Certainly it promises to be wild and full of fresh air.
I look forward to seeing you there.