Coastlands: The Maritimes Policy Review

Harbour of Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia
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September will see the launch of the Maritimes’ only regional magazine devoted to sustainable development, independent journalism and critical reflection on social, cultural and environmental issues.

Coastlands: The Maritimes Policy Review has been published as a provincial magazine in Nova Scotia for the last two years, under the title, The Nova Scotia Policy Review. Now in its third year, it is broadening its horizon to take in common issues across the Maritimes.

What’s in a name?

Editor Rachel Brighton explains the new name for the magazine. “Coastlands are contested spaces requiring complex and sensitive policy responses to preserve and share what is precious to us all. The name underscores the fact that we’re bound together in a shared environment and we need collaborative, careful and just responses to our natural and cultural resources.”

However, Coastlands extends its editorial horizon beyond the coastline, to survey emerging ideas across a broad spectrum of public policy concerns — including agriculture, coastal management, crime, culture (especially indigenous culture), democracy, disabilities, education, energy, environment, ethics, freedom of information, government, health, industry, justice, labour, language, law reform, literacy, media, mental health, natural resources, poverty, rural development, social policy and statecraft.

A shared resource


Brighton says that since the launch of this independent quarterly magazine in 2007, it has gained the respect of policy makers, community advocates and concerned citizens. Its independent reporting has been cited as evidence in the provincial legislature and by municipalities and community groups that have used its sound arguments to support sustainable social development.

By focusing on policy, the magazine keeps discussions grounded, while also tackling the kind of subjects that don’t make it into the daily press, such as the nature of community engagement in public decision-making.

Powerful words and images

Under the new title, Coastlands will continue to tackle politics, culture and justice with style and spark, offering an even richer selection of digests, short articles, essays, book reviews, maps, award-winning cartoons, comment, statistics and satire.

As well, the magazine makes room for photographs that combine an editorial commitment to the subject and artistic power. “Photographs can display the human face of policy decisions – malevolent and benevolent,” Brighton observes. “Images can give us greater insight into how public decisions affect people for good or ill. But this kind of photojournalism is lacking in our region.”

The editor is also seeking writers with an informed opinion or particular expertise and journalists who want to dig deeply. They should query the editor with their own ideas if they can fit within the tight writing style and editorial focus of the journal. Keen reflections in an original voice are also invited if they shed light on social, cultural and environmental tensions in your community or in the region. The magazine pays a reasonable word-rate to professional writers.

Coastlands: The Maritimes Policy Review is published quarterly by Finest Point Periodicals Limited in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia. The first issue under the new title will be published September 2009. For inquiries, submissions or subscriptions, please email Rachel Brighton at or visit

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