Down East 2013 ©
This month, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to the relaunch of our Web site, DownEast.com. (You’ll see a snapshot of it on the next page, along with its many cool new features.) But I’d like to trumpet this miracle of twenty-first century technology by doing something unfashionable. I want to invoke the spirit of 1954: the year of this magazine’s founding.
Specifically, I’d like to quote Down East’s founder, Duane Doolittle, who set out in an editor’s note to explain just what he had created. “Down East: The Magazine of Maine hopes to become more lively, literate, and illuminating every month it grows,” Doolittle wrote. “It knows it will remain independent. It won’t take pleasure in making anyone mad, nor yet will it present the sorry spectacle of trying to please everyone. Down East will be non-political on a day-by-day partisan level, for it does not grant any major or minor party a monopoly of heroes and great statesmen. It does not intend to be maudlin about the state of Maine for there well may be a better place on earth to live. We chiefly hope to catch something of Maine that will appeal to those who live here as well as those who wish they could. To the latter, Down East hopes to serve as a letter from home, keeping Maine alive and warm in their hearts until they can return.”
I’m quoting Doolittle not just because I share his editorial philosophy, but because I believe he offers a compass leading forward through foggy times. Much of the print media business these days is lost in a mist, unsure which way to turn. E-books, RSS feeds, digi-zines — so many journalists are obsessed with how we will be reading in five years that they’ve lost sight of why.
At Down East we know why you’re reading because you’ve told us for fifty-five years. You want information about contemporary Maine that reflects the same ideas our prescient founder articulated. The fun for us comes in using the new tools at our disposal to bring you these monthly (and now daily and hourly) dispatches. Rather than being nervous about the electronic frontier, we’re excited. In times of change, it helps to know who you are.
Duane Doolittle concluded his essay by saying: “State of Mainers, in fact or in spirit, this magazine is for you!” So, too, I would add, is this Web site. Or to put it another way: Maine values never go out of style.
Editor in Chief