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