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The black-eyed peas, streamers, and horns have all been put away. But we here at In The Fray continue to celebrate the advent of 2004 with reflections on our past and aspirations for the year ahead.

This month, we publish our annual Best of In The Fray. From Adam Lovingood’s commentary on the terrible irony of Lawrence v. Texas to Alejandro Durán’s photographs of workers and children along a Central American road, the stories featured here were chosen by readers and editors as the best of the year, and truly represent some of ITF’s finest work to date.

We know that New Year’s resolutions can be difficult to keep, but we at In The Fray are genuinely committed to improvement in the year ahead. Beginning this month, we are revamping our site’s blog, PULSE. The new PULSE will be updated several times every week by our staff, and it now allows readers to submit their own entries (replacing the Readers’ Forum on our site). In February, we will introduce a new channel, which will feature two regular columnists and an editorial cartoonist. And with more stories on music, food, film, and travel and a special issue on cross-category lovin’ on the horizon, readers have plenty of great content to look forward to in the coming months.

But that isn’t all. In 2004, we are also going to make a major push to expand our readership, make our website more user-friendly, and turn In The Fray into a print publication.

To this end, we will be conducting a major fundraising campaign during the next few months. Before we can do this, though, we need your input on what you like about In The Fray and how we can improve the magazine. Please help us—and yourself, dear reader—by taking a moment to fill out this completely anonymous survey.

We know that surveys aren’t always fun. But because we need your valuable input, we’ve made this one as painless as possible. Simply use the pull-down menus, fill in the blanks, and click “Submit” when you’re finished. The entire process should take you no more than one minute.

Thank you for your time and for helping us make In The Fray even better in 2004. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to email us.

Happy New Year!

Laura Nathan
Managing Editor
Austin, Texas

Bryant Castro de Serrato
Marketing Director
New York

The Best of In The Fray 2003

The Battle after Seattle
BEST OF IDENTIFY (tie). Four years after the landmark 1999 protests in Seattle, times are tougher for the global justice movement. But activists are adapting by broadening their ranks, shifting their tactics, and envisioning an alternative world.
Written by Victor Tan Chen
Photographed by Dustin Ross
Published December 29, 2003

Bollywood Ending? Not Yet.
BEST OF IDENTIFY (tie). What digital video could mean in the world’s largest democracy.
Written and photographed by Nicole Leistikow
Published April 10, 2003

A is for Ambivalent
BEST OF IMAGINE (tie). The rise, fall, and pending resurrection of an Asian American magazine.
Written by William S. Lin
Illustrated by Marvin Allegro
Published February 10, 2003

Burning Man Lights a Fire
BEST OF IMAGINE (tie). The Nevada desert art event doesn’t just produce art, it produces citizens.
Written by Katherine K. Chen
Photographed by Heather Gallagher and George Post
Published December 22, 2003

The Other Side of Lawrence
BEST OF INTERACT. A Supreme Court victory may turn out to be the gay community’s death knell.
Written by Adam Lovingood.
Published September 29, 2003

The New ‘Crisis’ of Democracy: A Conversation with Noam Chomsky
BEST OF INTERACT (runner-up). The world today is witnessing an unprecedented level of popular protest — but watch out, the Empire is striking back.
Published October 27, 2003

Por Los Ojos
BEST OF IMAGE. Down a road in Central America, eyeing each other.
Photographed by Alejandro Durán
Published June 12, 2003

Fear Totalitarianism
BEST OF IMAGE (runner-up). Dodging rubber bullets at the Miami FTAA ministerial.
Photographed by Tom Hayden, Diane Lent, Toussaint Losier, Andy Stern, and Victor Tan Chen
Art direction by Maalik Ausar Obasi
Published December 26, 2003

In The Fray is a nonprofit staffed by volunteers. If you liked this piece, could you please donate $10?