RELEVANT Updates (07.30.08)
By Cameron Strang
July 30, 2008
We're catching our breath a bit this week, as our Sept./Oct. issue went to the printer Friday night. Here are some sneak peek highlights of the issue:
In my last blog I asked for your feedback about our two cover ideas, and you overwhelmingly voted one way. So it should come as no surprise that the cover story is on politics, and I don't think you'll be disappointed. Shane Claiborne was interviewed, as well as Tony Campolo. The cover design is gut-punch strong. It'll ruffle a few feathers, to be sure, but that's the way it should be. We also have a voter's guide featuring the candidates' stands on six key issues, ranging from life issues to war and the economy.
Anberlin's Stephen Christian wrote a piece about a trip he took recently to India.
The former cover story before you guys nixed it, an in-depth interview with Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst anchors the issue. Really interesting stuff.
My Rwanda story got bumped. Yes, I got bumped. It'll run in November.
And lots more. Around the office, the buzz is it's our best issue yet. Can't wait for you to see it.
Many of you know we've been pursuing a John McCain interview to counterbalance the Barack Obama Q&A that ran on the site a few weeks ago. Well, after initially agreeing to a phoner, the McCain camp pulled out today. I know I'm supposed to stay unbiased, but given the importance of the voting block we reach (and how much of a foothold Obama is getting with young Christian voters), this is simply inexplicable.
So, that's it. No McCain.
Maya and I will be at Lollapalooza this weekend. Watch this site for blog updates, pics, audio and (hopefully) video of the three-day music overload. GM gave us an extra set of tickets today. If you want to go for free, email me. First come, first serve, so by the time you're reading this, they've probably already been claimed.
And the Team Grows
This week we welcome a few new members to the RELEVANT Team. Ashley Wolpert joins us as our new Associate Editor. She blew us away as an intern this spring, and you may know her from her blog here on the site. When the position opened up, we jumped at the chance to add her.
Kate Lynch comes in as our Project Manager. Kate was actually featured on the first Counter Culture page of the magazine a couple of years ago, a fact that escaped me until it was mentioned at lunch today. Small world. She replaces long-time RELEVANTer Kaley Crebs, who will be deeply missed as she goes to South Korea to teach English for a year.
Last but not least, Josh Babyar is joining our team in the newly created capacity of Associate Publisher. He'll work closely with me, especially focusing on growing RELEVANT's general market presence and advertising. For the last few years Josh has been Executive Publisher of Stop Smiling, a very cool music and culture magazine based in Chicago (Slate.com called it their favorite magazine). We're beyond thrilled to have him join the crew. You will see his impact in very tangible ways in issues to come.
The design and editorial teams are in the final push to wrap up the debut edition of Neue Quarterly. (So far, it's unbelievable.) We're also working hard on the launch of NeueMinistry.com, which will debut early next week. From one hectic deadline to another!
I saved some really cool news for lastâ€”RELEVANT.tv is coming back. This week we greenlit the development team to begin work on resurrecting the beloved online music channel. We have the video production team primed and ready. This is just my best guess, but I think we could expect to see it in the next 2-4 weeks. Stay tuned.