Hello, I’m Carol Marin. Welcome to the Reader’s Year in Review. This annual issue was once a model of the form, winning numerous national Year in Review awards. But as the years progressed, commercial considerations began to outstrip artistic ones, and the quality of our Year in Review faltered. We fell prey to base concerns, and I, for one, no longer wanted to be associated with it. But this year the Reader is taking a risk, bringing me back on board to tug this sinking steamer. This Year in Review will be different. It is dedicated to quality humor and commentary, not sensationalist rhetoric and cheap laughs. We have the best writers writing in the medium they know best–the written word. There are no filters, no trick editing, and no corporate toadies telling us what to report. There are no cute animal features, no senseless movie parodies, no slams on Bob Greene, no pointless bashing of political figures, no first-person anecdotes that go on and on for pages and pages and pages. Not even our annual “ultimate sports blooper” segment. Trust us: this is not a dull issue. Oh, no. We still have a sense of humor here, and we are driven, as news professionals, to bring to you as broad and balanced a picture of the year as possible. We believe we owe you, the readers of the Reader, the best issue ever. It is our solemn duty, our essential responsibility as defenders of the Fourth Estate, as true journalists operating in the truest tradition of true journalism, to present the truth, unfettered, unencum-