|For the first and last time here at Across the Pond I am writing not about international affairs but about our blog itself. I usually eschew writing about one's journalistic product and processes, because first, I believe the product should speak for itself and second, I don't think many readers are interested in journalists explaining how and why they do what they do.
But in this case, it's different since we will close Across the Pond at the end of March and this will be my last post. So why are we ending our transatlantic blogging venture on international affairs from a German and American perspective? Our original goal was to cover the U.S. election from a unique transatlantic perspective. But to be honest, when we launched Across the Pond a year ago we had no idea whether it would work. Would there be an audience for this kind of a blog? Could we get Across the Pond linked by relevant blogs and sites? Would we have the creativity and stamina to write entries on a daily basis?
In hindsight, I believe we can answer all those questions with a resounding yes. Our blog project with two journalists posting from across the pond did work. There definitely was an audience for a blog like ours as evidenced by the many comments and traffic we have received. It was rewarding to see how many important sites noticed our work and linked, often repeatedly, to Across the Pond (among them, Time Magazine, the Huffington Post, Politico, the Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, the Council on Foreign Relations to name just a few). And I believe that, for the most part, we possessed the ideas and endurance to keep the blog fresh and interesting.
So why are we quitting Across the Pond then? The answer is simple: This project from the beginning was only meant to cover the U.S. election. Across the Pond always was a true labor of love. It had nothing to do with our respective day jobs, so almost all of our writing was done in late evenings that often turned into late nights and on weekend afternoons. And it was a great challenge and even greater fun trying to come up with something worthwile to say every day.
After the election, we continued with the blog simply driven by the journalistic impetus to also cover the first months of an historic presidency. But while an election campaign has a clear focus, timeline and political players, covering the foreign policy of a historic presidency with its abundance of topics, venues and players is a whole different ballgame. And while I am confident that Tim and I would be able to report on the vast field that is American foreign policy under Obama as well, it won't be possible under the conditions and framework of Across the Pond.
But could there be a better moment to sign off as when President Obama embarks on his first official visit to Europe one year after we launched Across the Pond? I think not.
In closing, let me first thank all the readers and commentators who have followed Across the Pond over the past year. You are the reason why we started this blog. I hope you enjoyed reading the blog at least as half as much as I had writing it.
Second, a big thank you goes out to my blogging alter ego Tim in Washington. Without him, Across the Pond wouldn't have been possible. Tim is the only person I know who is equally well versed in writing about boxing and analyse the advantages of a southpaw as in writing about foreign policy and analyse domestic surveillance practices. He is not only an excellent reporter with flawless copy, but just has an amazing knack to find and explain the one aspect of the major story that every one else has overlooked. And last but not least, Tim is not just a great journalist, but also a good friend. Thanks again Tim.
Final thanks are also due to my wife, who for a year had to not only endure a husband hogging the family computer at night. She also had to deal with a frequently sleep-deprived partner. What's more, especially in the early months of Across the Pond, she was of invaluable help telling me what did or what didn't work. Thank you.
While we won't update Across the Pond any longer, it will remain online and can perhaps serve as an instant history file of the Obama election.
Thank you and so long!