Michel: 2016 is a year for change

Editor introduces new columns, new ideas and...
Michel: 2016 is a year for change

I’ve had my eyes on 2016 for a long time. As someone who closely follows media coverage leading up to each presidential election, I looked forward to seeing the level of public dialogue in the race for the White House. My anticipation became even greater when I was named editor last spring. It meant I would have a role in deciding the major stories Madison Magazine would tackle in 2016.

While there are no plans for the magazine to cover the candidates and their platforms, we will focus on some central themes from the campaigns–especially those of interest to local voters. Throughout the year we will turn our attention to some perplexing social issues, but we will examine them through the lens of Madison, Wisconsin. Some of these stories include homelessness, mental illness and immigration, just to name a few.

We also look forward to bringing you some new monthly columns this year, including one that debuts this month. We welcome back former Madison Magazine editor Brennan Nardi as the insider behind “Startup City,” a column that looks at local entrepreneurship. In March, another former editor will be back in the magazine when Doug Moe starts his monthly profiles of interesting people in our region. I’m excited about their return. Their writing has the power to make people stop and think.

Also this year, the magazine is partnering with a group of organizations that has launched a literary writing contest called “Our Waters, Our Future.” It’s fitting for us to be involved because of our deep connection to the Yahara lakes. The late Brian Howell, a former editor of this magazine, was an advocate of clean lakes. In 2004, then-Dane County executive Kathleen Falk signed a countywide ordinance that restricted unnecessary sale and application of fertilizer containing phosphorus, and she signed it in honor of Howell. The deadline for submissions is February 1, and you can find more information at wsc.limnology.wisc.edu/writing-contest.

In this new year, follow me on Twitter (@karenmichel) as I attempt to engage more with you, our readers. There’s so much to look forward to in this presidential election year; I’m glad it’s finally here. #Happy2016