On June 17, 2016, I'll be exiting my gig as the Managing Editor of Indy's Alternative Voice.
The reasons I'm leaving NUVO have been covered elsewhere — and they're pretty personal, so I'll not use this space to mourn my family losses yet again.
I'll use this space to tell you what's coming next.
What's coming next is a long summer and a bruising, brutal election, what's coming next is one more inevitable injustice yet unknown, a marginalization of another minority — and there will be words here in this publication that will express our writers' damnedest to give voice to the voiceless and counter those wrongs.
What's coming next is one more environmental blunder, built through malfeasance or negligence or some legal loophole — and somehow, that blunder will likely find a way onto NUVO's radar via a dogged editor or a watchful citizen.
What's coming next is a publication that's going to move ever more toward a daily provider of news, info and comment, a 40,000-watt lightbulb shining into the darkest corners of the middle of the Hoosier state.
What's coming next is a celebration of the beautiful, too. There are books and paintings and cinematic brilliance that deserve our attention. There are new and delicious foods to taste, notes to hear and spirits — both ephemeral and liquid — waiting to be discovered, spirits to warm the belly and the soul. There's poetry, there's comedy, there's tragedy; all manner of dramatic arts not even yet written that will one day be profiled in these pages.
What's next is more of what NUVO's always done, only better.
What's next is a fresh set of eyeballs managing these pages. That person will rapidly discover — if they don't already know — that NUVO isn't just a publication, it's a living, breathing classroom, a place that provides daily lessons on the best way people can treat one another even as they deliver the worst news.
What's next is a renewed call for human compassion and empathy, a magnified respect for the dignity of all people and the embrace of diversity. What's next is a true definition: "basic human empathy" is not to be somehow denigrated as "political correctness."
What's next is someone in this chair who will be continually amazed, moved and motivated by the incredible people who work on these pages every day. NUVO's staff shows a commitment to ensuring that the relevance of this publication will never diminish, and they do it on a molecular level, a level most readers will never see.
What's next is a managing editor whose red pen will tremble as that person begins to edit a story by Dan Wakefield or Barbara Shoup or some other stellar, storied Indiana writer. (To that person, I can give you this bit of comfort: yes, you ARE worthy. Don't sweat it.)RELATED: Is that Managing Editor you?
What's next is that person who will shepherd this wonderful, messy, critically important piece of Indy toward its 30th birthday, steeling themselves against the rants of trolls and speaking truth to power. I know NUVO will find that person, and I know that person will have the full support of everyone in this building. There will be days when they'll need it.
What's next is the continuing development of an idea, the very notion of NUVO best summed up by a man I admire immeasurably, Mike Ahern.
Ahern, Indy's longest-tenured television news anchor, our Walter Cronkite, penned these words for NUVO when the paper turned 25:
Today, what was once a novelty, a lively, sometimes subversive voice in a city of button-downed ideas, NUVO has become indispensable. NUVO has made this a better place. It has broadened our knowledge with a fresh perspective on the world around us and the city we live in. To put it simply, NUVO gets us to thinking in a whole new way.
Keep it up, NUVO. I'll be reading.
Hell, we'll all be reading.
EDITORS' NOTE: These words were penned two days prior to the attack in Orlando.