Greetings, dear readers, and thank you for joining us for this exciting moment in the history of the Adirondack Explorer.
Since you are reading this, I know you have opened the cover of the new-look Explorer and ventured this far into a publication that we have redesigned in the hope of serving you even better. As you read, you will find that we remain committed to the probing, wide-ranging coverage of the Adirondack Park that you expect from us. And I believe you will discover that our new look makes this coverage even more effective by increasing the impact of the images that are such a key element of contemporary storytelling.
We are aware of how loyal our readers are and very grateful for your attachment to the newsmagazine as we have been publishing it. We feel a responsibility to honor this relationship we have nurtured over our eighteen years of publication, and we don’t undertake change lightly or simply for the sake of following a passing fashion.
But that responsibility also motivates us to keep looking for ways to enhance your reading experience, and we are confident that the changes we introduce with this issue will accomplish that.
We have upgraded the quality of the paper we are printed on and contracted with a new printing press that uses a technology that produces sharper images with richer color and higher resolution. The paper, a coated stock without the high-gloss look of many magazines you find on supermarket racks, gives a combination of traditional “newsy” feel and sharper design. The “heat-set” printing process fixes the ink quickly on the page and makes for sharper type and images and eliminates rub-off.
Along with these changes, we have made a slight reduction in the size of the pages—about an inch each in width and depth. We do this because we have heard over the years that the larger tabloid format we have been using is a little unwieldy and inconvenient to carry around. You no doubt notice that the Explorer remains larger than the more-common magazine size of around 8½ by 11 inches. We feel this better reflects the character of the magazine and also gives us room on our pages to display photos to their best advantage.
These changes are a natural extension of the history of the Adirondack Explorer, which has been one of continual improvement while remaining true to our mission of fostering greater understanding, fuller enjoyment, and lasting protection of the Adirondack Park.
When founder Dick Beamish published the first issue in August 1998, the magazine was twenty- eight pages long, printed entirely in black and white on lightweight newsprint. Looking back on it now, it seems dark and a little flimsy.
The Explorer started as a monthly, but in 2002 converted to bimonthly, allowing us to increase the content of each issue and providing Editor Phil Brown and our contributors the time to develop more in-depth, high-quality articles.
The first full-color Explorer appeared in 2007, making a big leap forward in the visual impact of our pages. Pictures submitted by some of the finest photographers in the Park took on more life. Stories, which are always strengthened by strong visual presentations, became more effective because of this change.
Other changes followed, including the introduction of our digital edition in 2012 and the acquisition of the online journal Adirondack Almanack in 2014.
Throughout all this, we keep honing our reporting skills and deepening our understanding of the Adirondack Park. The ongoing series of articles on the impact of climate change on the Adirondacks and the recent series examining the effectiveness of the Adirondack Park Agency exemplify how, as journalists, we can set an agenda for the Park. We provide the information readers and policy-makers alike need to guide decisions to ensure the Park remains a wild sanctuary and rich human community for future generations.
As we discussed the improvements we are introducing with this issue, our Board Chair Charlotte Hall said our challenge was to produce a publication as beautiful as the region we cover. Given how breathtaking this region is that’s a tall order. I hope you find that we have at least come closer. We’d love to hear what you think. Please let us know.
-Tom Woodman, Publisher