Unidentified Public Sphere

Working as the editor of an international news aggregator, I had my worst fears confirmed. In the US, as newspaper and magazine circulation continues to constrict, most foreign news is now imported. Subscribing to hundreds of Middle Eastern and South Asian periodicals and blogs as part of my job, even though I’d mastered receiving my news via RSS years before, the longer I did this work, the more I longed to go to an old fashioned newsstand and walk home with three or four periodicals.¬†Friday evening, I did just that.

I was particularly taken with the idea of reading through The National. Published in Abu Dhabi, in the weeks leading up to its launch last summer, it was subject to much hype in the US. In between hiring former editors from newspapers such as The New York Times, and starting up in a publishing environment like that which presently exists in the United States, Americans were indeed curious about it. The fact that English-language Arab periodicals are experiencing a spike in US readership due to the war definitely helped.