Second Thoughts
Second Thoughts

But second thoughts are out of fashion in the media these days. Opinions have become monoliths — indivisible things to be defended as totally as one's name.

So Second Thoughts, the magazine, is a journal for journalists who want to reclaim their doubts, or at least to feel they can admit to them. In fact, many of the pieces here contain passages in which their authors doubt their own conclusions or prejudices, or doubt whether they chose the right format for the piece, or even doubt whether the article should have been written in the first place. We as editors chose one particular country for these experiments: Ukraine. Not only because this was where our journalists' dialogues took place during the n-ost media conference in October 2017, but also because the situation in Ukraine has become a special challenge for journalists in recent years.

Ukraine faced disinformation and propaganda in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and the war in Donbass started. It is a country that shows how important it is to tell true stories, new stories, unusual stories that might not fit the common narrative, even after Ukraine vanishes from the international media landscape again.

One reason we hope this magazine will be interesting to the general reader is that it gives a small insight into the many decisions that steer a journalist's work. More than that, it might disabuse some readers of their ideas about what is called the “media agenda.” Journalism is never the work of one person, but the discussions and interventions and revisions perpetrated by editors, copy editors, proofreaders — are always hidden from the reader. So this magazine is a display of those conflicting voices — arguments we have among ourselves before we put our stuff into the world and argue with the readers. It's also a confession of weakness. And, like any confession, it feels good.
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