Back in February 1973, in the very first issue of this magazine, founding editor William Broyles wrote, by way of introduction, “If our readers have ever finished the daily paper or the six o’clock news and felt there was more than what they were told, then they know why we started Texas Monthly.” Nearly forty years later, this same sense of purpose holds true; we’re still motivated by the idea that a monthly magazine is the ideal place to go deeply into stories, offering a reading environment uniquely conducive to historical context, thorough analysis, and the kind of lyrical, imaginative writing that transports readers into lives not their own. (For two prime examples of this, see “Up in the Air” and “‘If the Serial Killer Gets Us, He Gets Us’.”)
But we also know that much has changed since 1973. The era when “the news” was limited to one local paper or newscast is gone, and today many readers have a different problem from the one Bill described: they are now drowning in a sea of information. The Internet has expanded their potential sources of news so much—and mobile technology keeps them connected to these sources constantly—that they may never finish the daily paper or watch the six o’clock news at all.
Let’s not wring our hands over this or pine nostalgically for the older, simpler days. First of all, there’s no going back. And second, the dramatic increase in the amount of available information has had many benefits, chief among them being that more people around the world are better informed than ever before. (More people around the world are also watching cat videos, but those two things aren’t mutually exclusive.) And yet we all know that those benefits come with a price, that with more to read, it’s easy for important stories to get lost.
What readers need, then, are tools that can help them simplify the chaotic media universe they find themselves in. They don’t need less information, they need better systems to deal with what exists and what is yet to come. And with that in mind, we’ve developed a new and ambitious website that will be a companion to texasmonthly.com. It’s called the TM Daily Post, an online destination devoted to organizing, prioritizing, and analyzing the news of Texas every day. We believe that Texas Monthly has a unique ability to provide the kind of filter for the daily news cycle that readers need. Using our well-honed editorial judgment and expert knowledge of the state, we’ll be sifting through a wide range of sources, from metro papers and small-town weeklies to news sites, TV and radio broadcasts, research journals, city magazines, college newspapers, blogs, Tumblrs, tweets, and more, in order to keep you posted not just on what’s happening all across Texas but on what really matters. We’ll cover all the things that Texans are interested in (and that, for 38 years, we’ve been covering in the pages of Texas Monthly): politics, sports, business, entertainment, the environment, religion, history, food, and crime. (We’ll even throw in a cat video from time to time, so long as the cat is a Texan.)
Of course, on a monthly basis, we’ll continue to produce the kind of long, in-depth journalism that is at the core of what Texas Monthly means. But now, on a daily basis, we’ll also be bringing you this full-spectrum view of what Texans are talking about. The Post launches this month, on December 1. You’ll find it through the texasmonthly.com homepage or directly, at tmdailypost.com. (For more information, turn back to page 22.)
So to paraphrase another editor at another launch, if our readers have ever felt like they didn’t have time to stay on top of the daily paper, the six o’clock news, the fifteen websites they have bookmarked, their RSS feed, their Twitter stream, their text and email alerts, and the podcasts piling up on their smartphones, then they know why we started the TM Daily Post.
Bum Steers, the disturbing case of a Corpus Christi woman imprisoned for poisoning her foster child, how Phil Collins became the world’s biggest Alamo buff, the greatest hits of a legendary Texas courtroom illustrator, and an exclusive look at the new memoir from famed heart surgeon Denton Cooley.