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Published July 26, 2004 11:01PM (EDT)

Dear Salon Reader:

As you read this, I'm in Boston with the Salon news team to cover the Democratic National Convention. While much of the media fixates on the trivial -- how many times John Kerry and John Edwards have embraced and how thick their hair is, and what Teresa Heinz Kerry and Elizabeth Edwards wear on the big nomination night -- Salon will be shining a light in the corners, tackling the issues that others shy away from and giving you the news you need. And unlike most news networks, we'll cover the convention gavel to gavel, helping to make sense of this once-every-four-years gathering of the party faithful.

Salon can cover the convention with a candor that you won't find elsewhere, and with a large editorial team despite our small size, because we're independent. We're accountable to ourselves and to you, our readers, not to the whims and second-guessing of a corporate parent.

This week, look for a beefed-up War Room '04, which has already become Salon's most popular feature. The War Room convention special will cover the speeches, the caucuses, and the parties too. We'll bring you a daily feature, "Conventional Wisdom," spotlighting smart delegates and other attendees who will talk about what's at stake in this election (we kicked it off last week with an interview with up-and-coming San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom about the nation's missing urban agenda). We'll cover all the big speeches and tell you who shone and who didn't. And we'll do it all again next month, when the Republicans gather in New York.

Salon remains independent, free to tell it how we see it, largely because of support from our Salon Premium members. We're kicking off this membership drive during the convention week because we think you'll see what makes Salon different from the rest of the media pack. Isn't it time you endorsed Salon and the difference we're making? I encourage you to join Salon Premium today.

Warm Regards,

David Talbot

By David Talbot

David Talbot, the founder of Salon, is the author of New York Times bestsellers like "Brothers," "The Devil's Chessboard," and "Season of the Witch." His most recent book is "Between Heaven and Hell: The Story of My Stroke."

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