Word to the Mothership

By Schalit, Joel | Tikkun, January/February 2007 | Go to article overview

Word to the Mothership


Schalit, Joel, Tikkun


IT WAS ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS THAT EVERY EDITOR lives for. Arriving at the end of one ofthe busiest years in our history, the initial results of our first-ever readership survey made it clear that our subscribers approved of what we've been doing. Overwhelmingly, readers indicated that they're satisfied with the new editorial division of our content, and how it is reflected in the re-designed edition ofthe magazine we debuted last March. For what is arguably the most ideologically experimental political periodical in the U.S., receiving this kind of affirmation from our readers was truly gratifying. Unlike any other publication of its kind, Tikkun has always been willing to take enormous editorial risks, even if it meant being ahead ofthe so-called curve. To learn that we are more in sync with you than we believed confirms that we can indeed trust our intuitions. That in itself is a huge relief. Every periodical has to periodically reinvent its own wheel to stay relevant, and you've told us that we've done so correctly.

From this editor's perspective, the key appears to have been how we divided our features section into our historic areas of specialization: Spiritual Activism, Politics and Society, Israel/Palestine, and Judaism. By making these editorial categories more distinct, our readers indicated to us that they better understood the whole ofthe magazine. This was something of a revelation, because over the years, we've found our audience to be relatively divided. Some people read the magazine only for its Israel/Palestine reportage, others solely for its spiritual writings. Now, it appears, there's a greater appreciation for how all ofthe material fits together. This does not mean to suggest that our readers didn't indicate their own content priorities in the survey results, because they did. Sure enough, many ofthe same divisions amongst our readers still strongly persist. Nevertheless, our editorial eclecticism appears to be more understood than it has been in the past, and those segments ofthe readership that we've always encountered to be less inclined toward a specific kind of content have indicated that they accept the connections we're drawing.

Given the highly compartmentalized character of progressive politics in the U. …

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