The End of Anonymity (Sort Of)

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The Economist’s blogs have officially entered the 20th century:

Today we are changing the way we write our bylines [i.e., they are actually using bylines for the first time ever. –ed] in order to make it clearer that different correspondents are writing different posts. We hope this will facilitate discussion between our bloggers and with other blogs, and clear up any confusion about multiple correspondents in the same city.

Some readers will wonder why we do not move to full bylines, as opposed to signing only our initials. We still consider this blog a collective effort, where what is written is more important than who writes it. This is how we have run The Economist in print since 1843, and the newspaper will remain without initials. We hope this anonymity liberates correspondents to write what they think and not worry about how it makes them look to the world. Even as we sign our initials on this blog, we hope the focus remains on the substance of our posts, not on us.

That particular post was written by “R.M.” Next step: force the Economist kicking and screaming into the 21st century by figuring out who the names are behind all the initials and posting them somewhere for easy reference. This is clearly a job for crowdsourcing, so let’s get cracking, people.

In the meantime, I guess this means I can suspend my semi-boycott of Economist blogs. Progress!

UPDATE 1: A start: R.A. = Ryan Avent, G.I. = Greg Ip. Keep ’em coming!

UPDATE 2: R.M. = Roger McShane.

UPDATE 3: M.S. = Matt Steinglass.

UPDATE 4: E.G. = Erica Grieder.

UPDATE 5: A motherlode of names! R.L.G. = Robert Lane Greene, J.F. = Jon Fasman, J.S. = Julian Sanchez, P.D. = Peter David, A.S. = Allison Schrager.

UPDATE 6: N.M. = Noah Millman, W.W. = Will Wilkinson.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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