Recently, Religion & Politics reached a milestone. Sometime after the start of the RNC in Tampa, and before the conclusion of the DNC in Charlotte, our site surpassed half a million pageviews. For a small, start-up journal, one that is just four months old, we were thrilled and wanted to share this achievement with our readers.
We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received in such a short time frame. More important than the online traffic has been being part of the debate and discussions at the center of this historic election season. Our content has made must-read lists at GQ, The New Republic, The Daily Beast, and Arts & Letters Daily. Our articles have been cited and discussed at a broad range of media outlets, from The Huffington Post, The Village Voice, and First Things to Bookforum, National Review, The American Conservative, and Utne Reader. Meanwhile, several of our pieces have gone viral through social media; to date our feature on Jon Stewart has been viewed more than 100,000 times.
It has been little more than a year since I was hired to help Washington University and the Danforth Center on Religion & Politics bring their vision for a journal to fruition. Both the center and the university deserve immense thanks for supporting this endeavor. I am still the only full-time employee of R&P, but this reality belies the number of dedicated individuals that make this publication possible. Max Perry Mueller has been on board every step of the way, and always goes above and beyond as a part-time editor, full-time brainstormer and cheerleader. Marie Griffith, our editor and director, reads and top-edits every word before it is published. Joe McGill acts as art director and maintains the website with his technical expertise. Our other center staff, Debra Kennard and Lenora Fisher, keep us organized, efficient, and on budget, while our faculty and board members provide us with invaluable ideas, time, and resources. Finally, we owe a debt of gratitude to the amazing writers, all freelance, who plow through multiple rounds of editing, and who send us the ideas and text that make our jobs so much fun.
From the outset, our goal for R&P has been ambitious but simple: to produce great content that takes the “long view,” providing historical context and analysis. Now we are grateful and honored to be included in the vibrant community of publications, scholars, and journalists covering religion and politics.
We created a publication we wanted to read, but we could not guarantee its reception or success. We thank you, readers, and hope you will continue to support us. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Consider making a donation. Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. As we look back to our launch, we hope to move forward and keep improving. Please do not hesitate to be in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org); let me know how we are doing and what features you would like to see. As Election Day approaches, and the events of this past week continue to unfold in the Middle East, the intersections of religion and politics remain as vital as ever to understand. With your help, we will be able to bring you original writing and research on these topics for a long time to come.
Tiffany Stanley is managing editor of Religion & Politics.