Editor Bids Goodbye to Readers

Running The Independent has been a wild and wonderful adventure that I will never forget. I’m looking forward to what comes next.
A sign reading "SEE YOU LATER" hangs in a window.
Photo by Junseong Lee on Unsplash.

Our forces were slight. Our goal
Lay far in the distance
Clearly visible, though I myself
Was unlikely to reach it.
So passed my time
Given to me on earth.

Bertolt Brecht, “To those born later”

I am terrible at goodbyes. I suspect this is cultural. Newfoundlanders tend towards parting either through a sudden ghosting—the proverbial “Irish goodbye”—or long, drawn out, apologetic and maudlin affairs that stage a self-indulgent deferral of the inevitable end. Both of these are symptoms of attachment issues, and in Canada’s happy province it’s attachment issues all the way down. So with that in mind, let’s make this as painless and amiable as possible.

This is my last editorial as Editor-in-Chief of The Independent.

It’s not the last thing I’m ever going to write—at least, I certainly hope not. It’s unlikely even to be the last thing I ever write for The Indy. But at this particular moment, in this particular role, as this particular iteration of “myself,” this is, definitively, the end.

And that’s OK.

Given the transitory nature of all worldly glories, constant change is the only consistency you can really expect from life. This is also—perhaps even especially—true in the swashbuckling adventure that is progressive, non-profit, public-service digital journalism here on the fringe of the North Atlantic. The Independent is entering a new phase of its existence that involves some pretty deep internal restructuring on both the organizational and editorial sides. What emerges from this transitional period will be something strong and beautiful. But it will be something different, and part of the metamorphosis involves the end of my time at its helm.

As it is said in the world’s great wisdom traditions: dassit.

There is nothing melancholic about this. There isn’t even all that much to say on the occasion, really, because upon reflection I have already recently said everything about this sort of thing that I might conceivably want to say. And in the words of American philosopher David Byrne: “Say something once, why say it again?”

At any rate, the future is much more interesting to me these days than the past. The upshot of this upheaval is that I am able to pass The Independent’s new and improved machinery over to Justin Brake during this transition. Justin is an old hand at this and is already doing incredible work with the berrygrounds podcast. I am very, very excited to see what he does with the operation we’ve built over the last four years. Justin is one of the best journalists in Canada, and there is no one better suited to secure and advance the future of journalism in Newfoundland and Labrador. I have absolute confidence that my baby is being left in capable hands. It only goes up from here.

As for me—well, frankly it’s more fun to maintain a romantic air of mystery about where I’m going next. I will say that the two constants in my own life enduring through all chaos and dissolution are the written word and this beautiful, godforsaken rock; and both, for better and for worse, seem bound together in my heart as tightly to each other as each one is to me. I can no more stop committing pen to paper than bid the tides to cease. As my blood flows so does the ink, and I now give myself entirely over to the waves.

Running The Independent these last few years has been the wildest and most meaningful time of my life. It was, in many respects, the fulfillment of a cherished dream—one I can now take with me into the new day ahead.

Goodbye, dear reader. Thanks for everything. I will think of you fondly until we meet again.

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