Annalee Newitz
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Welcome to the Future Initiative

Illustration for article titled Welcome to the Future Initiative

The world is changing. And things are changing at io9 and Gizmodo, too.

Image via NASA

I'm heading up the the Future Initiative, which is a project to bring io9 into closer collaboration with Gizmodo and Sploid, plus a handful of boutique sites like Paleofuture, Space, Reframe, and more. These sites already share an obsession with science, technology and the world of tomorrow. Now it's time to bring them together, and build a habitat for slipstream journalism that combines speculative wonder with skepticism and hard truths.


I'll be serving as the editor-in-chief of Gizmodo, and Charlie Jane Anders is going to become editor-in-chief of io9. The two sites, along with Sploid and our diagonals, will be collaborators within the greater universe of the Future Initiative. Some editors and writers will be shared across the sites, and we'll be working together on a lot of story packages. But the sites will also retain separate identities, with separate commenter communities.

My goal for the Future Initiative is to produce original reporting, must-read explainers, and smart analysis. I want our sites to have clear opinions — even if they piss everybody off — and distinct voices. And I also want us to be experts in the topics we cover.


2015 is going to be a year for stories with depth. I want everyone in the Future Initiative working on longer, reported articles. That means getting out of the news hype cycle to do explainers on a regular basis, giving our readers and communities the fundamentals they need to understand the rapid pace of innovation happening now. Put another way: To get to the stars, we first need to understand human history and the scientific rules that govern our world.

I also want us to hit stories that are hard for other media outlets to cover. We're an independent media source; we're not owned by some VC or media megacorp. I want us to investigate everything from the real conditions of tech workers and piracy online, to jailbreaking gadgets, spy shit, and anything else that's too hot for places like Buzzfeed or Fusion to handle. We don't answer to corporate investors. We answer to the public, and to ourselves.


I can't wait to see what we discover.

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