Political editor

There’s been some chatter on Twitter to the effect that I’ll be the new Political Editor at Maclean’s, effective immediately. (Actually, effective last week, but we couldn’t announce it yet. That’s what I was doing at the story meeting last Wednesday, colleagues!)

Here’s what the job entails. 

First, I’ll help to lead the magazine’s political coverage in print and online. I’ll be writing more reported pieces than I did in 2011, starting with our next issue later this week. I’ll continue writing the column and, as you’ll have noticed, I’ve resurrected the Inkless Wells blog and won’t be letting it go. Our peerless Ottawa bureau chief, John Geddes, will continue to run our little outpost; I’ll run interference for him by shuttling between Toronto and Ottawa and integrating our political file into the rest of what we do. This will be only the first of several steps in reaffirming Maclean’s position as Canada’s leading source for news and comment about national affairs. We have a lot planned.

Second, I’ll be on the lookout for new voices. We’ve already begun: when Vaclav Havel died, we had a reminiscence from his Canadian translator, Paul Wilson. Emmett Macfarlane has begun blogging for us on Supreme Court decisions. Jordan Owens and Adam Goldenberg blogged for us from the Liberal convention. We hope to have more such insider-outsiders at other party events this year. And I’m really pleased to have Alec Castonguay’s article on F-35 procurement shenanigans, translated from L’actualité, in our current issue. Our French-language sister publication took a big step by hiring Alec as political editor, and I want our two magazines to work together more regularly.

As we set about improving our website and our presence on tablets, smartphones and, I don’t know, clouds, I’ll make sure the needs of readers of our political coverage will get careful consideration. We’ll be looking to develop new products, new public events, new ways for our staff to talk to readers.

I’m still writing a book about Stephen Harper. I’ll just sleep in less often.

Andrew Coyne’s departure was unwelcome news for all of us. We’ve decided not to respond by hiring a new columnist because none could fit his shoes. We’re just going to move forward, aggressively, on a bunch of fronts.

Six years ago under Ken Whyte, Maclean’s started confounding everyone’s expectations about what a national weekly newsmagazine could do. Now under Mark Stevenson we plan to stay one step ahead.