Dear Readers,

We hope you enjoy Issue #6 of Between Coasts, an online magazine telling stories from the flyover. At this moment, when the world between the coasts feels so tenuous, good storytelling about real people is more important than ever. This issue, “News,” explores the concerns of journalists and former journalists from Illinois, Ohio, and West Virginia, on the streets of cities, in community centers, and in classrooms. When Lizz and I were concocting this issue we hoped to address the ways that journalists construct and sometimes disrupt relationships between themselves and their communities/readers.

These writers are looking at some of the issues that sparked this project in the first place—how to do parachute journalism, where is the middle. The first issues of this project were cobbled together with the help of a scrappy band of friends—especially Aaron Fuleki, Lizz Stearns and Kasey Grieco McNeally. Without those creative, intelligent, and wonderful people, this would not exist. I am forever indebted to them. With no remuneration, save for some t-shirts and a few six-packs, they have made Between Coasts a living breathing thing with a chance to continue (And I’m really going to miss editing the Google Doc with you, Lizz! I learned so much from you. Thank you.). I want to thank, too, the folks who have jumped on board at various times—Fitale Wari, Savannah Delgross, and Trent Edmunds. And I’d also like to thank my daughter for helping take the photo on this page.

With Issue #7 we will launch a revamped website, though we’ll do our best to honor Aaron’s made-from-scratch, real-deal, hand-crafted (and coded) design. We will also welcome a guest contributing editor, Carson Vaughan, who has scoured his network for some refreshing stories including work by Lyndsey Gilpin and Matthew Hansen. We’re not sure where this is heading next, but our hope is to collaborate with other outlets to provide a platform for stories about America’s middle.

Take care,

Jack Shuler