Dear friends and readers,

We have been reflecting on our ambitions for The New Herald–considering what we wanted to achieve with the journal and where we are now. We started this journal because we believed that open, respectful, and extended conversations on social and political issues are the only way to sustain democratic society. We still believe this, and feel that it is essential that those kinds of conversations be encouraged and given space to grow.

However, it hasn’t always felt like the Herald was really living up to that vision. Our approach of offering mostly unconnected, academic, and op-ed style essays has resulted in an atmosphere similar to most sites dedicated to political commentary. Such sites play an important role in shaping and inspiring the kinds of conversation we need to have, but The New Herald wants to do something different. We want to be a place where those conversations occur.

So, in the months ahead, we’re going to try something new. Essays at the Herald are going to become more interconnected, less formal, and more participatory. We want everyone to get involved, to speak out, to contradict and interact. If an article on the site confuses, inspires, or angers you, say so! Write a response and submit it. A conversation can’t occur without some degree of tension–the Herald wants to be a space where those tensions can be explored, if not always resolved.

We are also going to be trying some other ways of interacting on the site. Some of these won’t ultimately work out, and that will be okay. In the months ahead, we will be introducing a Reflections feature, where the editors and other interested individuals can publish shorter, informal considerations on a continuing theme.

Authors interested in writing Reflections for The New Herald will be encouraged to contemplate or respond to themes from other Reflections and essays on the site, as well as introduce themes of their own choosing. Ideally, these posts will briefly (in 400-500 words) and more personally (perhaps via ‘reflections’ on memorable anecdotes or past experiences) explore or comment on the ways in which their themes and ideas are connected to other writing on the site . This is one way in which we hope the content of the Herald will constitute a discussion.

At The New Herald, we believe that conversation can change the world. In refocusing on our original aim to foster and maintain an extended dialogue on culture and politics, we aspire to participate in the project of progress through a relational exchange of ideas. A better world requires consideration and interaction, so read, reflect, and join the conversation.