WHO WE ARE
As we reflect on our past and look toward the future—in a world where ideologically narrow or simple answers are less adequate, and can even be more destructive, than ever—we decided to put to words a handful of ideas we thought represented authentic guiding commitments for us and to our audience.
Look for the truth above looking for a story.
We know great storytelling is part of great journalism. But honest reporting and analysis, and the integrity they represent, are what matter most to us, even if their pursuit requires giving up on an alluring narrative.
Continue to explore rather than imagining we’ve arrived.
Certainty can be comforting, but it can also get in the way of understanding. For us, the end of every story or argument should be the beginning of a conversation, and the end of every conversation the beginning of another—or even another story or argument.
Go beyond what happens to what matters.
We see it as part of our job to help keep our audience up-to-date on the most important news and current events across the United States and around the world. But the bigger part of our job is to work out—through reporting, argument, and debate—what that news means now, and what it could mean for the future.
Embrace a diversity of perspectives.
No story is ever complete, no argument is ever perfect, and debates worth having tend to shift and turn more than they end. So we can never rely on a single point of view, or even on a “balance” of two. Important ideas, observations, points, and counterpoints can come from anywhere—from across the political spectrum—so we have to look everywhere for them.
Immerse ourselves, and our audience, in the world—instead of escaping from it.
People are connected today in ways they’ve never been before, through established media, new media, social media, or otherwise. But these kinds of connection have also balkanized, filtered, alienated, and inspired retreat—into private concerns, into entertainment, into ideological comfort zones, and so on. We want to connect with the world by fully engaging with it, and with people who see it differently from how others see it.
Our hope is that these commitments orient us in a way that not only is genuine for The Atlantic, but that helps us be as meaningful as possible to you in your life, and as good a force as possible for the world around us.