Welcome to First Drafts, the Prospect magazine editorial blog. We are maybe a bit late in the game, but Prospect readers and others will find here a distinctive offering connected to, but independent from, the magazine itself and the rest of the website. We are not attempting to provide a rolling commentary on the news cycle—thousands of other places do that better than we could. Nor are we trying to replicate the particular worldview of an individual’s blog.
So why have we jumped on the blogging bandwagon? Someone once said that Prospect should aim to help people read and understand the news, and that is at least part of what First Drafts will be doing—directing readers to articles or commentary we think valuable, providing guides to the most incisive writers and bloggers, mining our own archive for pieces that shed light on current events, providing a one-stop reference library of useful documents and so on. There will also, of course, be original blog-style comment—taking advantage of the medium’s special combination of immediacy and brevity—as well as overspill and follow-up from the magazine, whether pointing people towards new articles, allowing them to debate particular pieces (like our June issue cover story by Shiv Malik) or providing the background to the genesis of an article.
Other regular features will include an academic spat watch and Tom Chatfield’s “Species of speciousness,” which will mercilessly take writers to task for egregious errors of logic. “Did you actually read the book?” will allow writers to reply to reviews of their books that have appeared in Prospect or elsewhere. Marc Hauser’s reply to Jonathan Derbyshire’s Guardian review of his Moral Minds is our first entry.
Entries will be written by Prospect staffers and some regular outsiders. We welcome and encourage comment, of course, but we are not interested in the name-calling that some blogs seem to specialise in. We remain, after all, Britain’s intelligent conversation—even in the blogosphere.