Monthly Archives: January 2013

A new kind of publication: Seersucker.

Traditional media is made up of a hierarchical structure. The best publications of our time, or at least the most widely respected, cull their content from a specific contingent of “qualified” writers. To get published, you need to work your way up the traditional structure; attend J-school, do beat reporting, and, even then, you need some luck. The Internet was supposed to shake up media, but the way it has done so is more reserved to the realm of how media is consumed and disseminated. Sure, with the Internet everyone can be a creator, but the hulks of the media industry still seem to somewhat rely upon finding traditional writers.

In rare cases, such as that of NYTimes reporter Brian Stelter, younger voices break through and get hired by the old media. This was one product of the Internet. A side effect, however, was that in creating a platform for the dissemination of content, there ended up being a ton of it…and much of it not very good. Essentially, the Internet has allowed anyone to write (both good and bad) and let the older publications push their content out faster. However, there’s a gap here.

Where is the voice of the ever coveted 18 to 24 demographic in the media? It feels like so many publications seek to cater to these individuals, but don’t trust that same audience to write or create on a large scale.

Enter Seersucker.

Visually beautiful, with a clean layout for reading content, Richie Siegel’s new online publication seeks to offer a suave platform for young voices to add their say to the media. Equating it to “The New Yorker for our generation,” Seersucker looks like a publication to be taken seriously. While it’s the content that matters, perhaps this kind of effort will make the higher-up media moguls take notice of the young talent out there.

While it was just recently launched, and content is looking a bit thin, you can take a look at Seersucker by visiting http://seersuckermag.com

Disclosure: I have discussed some of the aspects and strategy of Seersucker with the site’s founder, but the views here are mine alone.  

A Second Semester Senior

Wow–it’s been quite some time since I’ve taken the time to write a post here. I feel like that’s a pretty standard problem with blogs. As much as one might have to say, consistently blogging can be pretty time consuming. A former professor of mine always added the sub-title to his blog as it being “a part of the slow-blog movement.” Perhaps I should add that tagline to mine as well…

Regardless of the speed of the blog, life hasn’t slowed down one bit. Remarkably, I’m actually a second semester senior. The day before I arrived back on campus, the facebook statuses by my peers and friends embellished the emotion of the moment. This is supposed to be IT. This is the “end”…or, conversely, the “beginning.” For me, I haven’t felt much of that. Instead, this semester just feels like a capstone; a moment where I feel like I can actually do things at the level I want them to be done at. 

Because this is already becoming a self-reflection post, I’m going to indulge in a bit more about my academic endeavors this semester. For my coursework, I’m taking a full set of classes. It’s perhaps a bad idea for the spring of senior year, but losing the opportunity to take the unique classes offered here would be a shame. The courses are: 

Politics of Journalism, a course with the ever-quoted Professor John J. Pitney of Claremont McKenna College. It’s been a great learning experience so far…did you know that LBJ never said “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost the war” or any other variation of the phrase. Examining the relationship of the media with political and corporate actors in such depth is highly satisfying. 

Restoring Nature, with Professor Paul Faulstich at Pitzer, is a course dedicated to restoration ecology theory and practice, focusing on the restoration of the Outback, a coastal sage scrub ecosystem on the Pitzer College campus. I’ve never done any sort of environmental analysis course before, but I have been involved in some of the politics of the Outback (a portion of it was used to build new dorms) as a part of the college’s governance. 

My third course is Neoliberalism, a seminar taught by the popular professor and Fulbright adviser extraordinaire Nigel Boyle at Pitzer. The class is also the first ever IGLAS seminar at the College. IGLAS is the Institute for Global-Local Action and Study, a new entity at Pitzer that seeks to connect scholarship and activism both domestically and abroad. 

Finally, I am working on a Senior Thesis. Coming out of my work in my seminar in Technology and Politics last semester, the thesis will examine the emergence of transnational identity through the development and evolution of the Millenium Development Goals…or so I hope. More on that later. 

While I don’t know where my journey will take me beyond college graduation, I want to live this semester as much in the moment as possible and do it right. From class to friends to the future, it’s gonna be a great time. A year ago, I had just returned from my study abroad in China. Now, it’s time to do the rest of my time at Pitzer the right way. 

I wish you all the best for your spring. Somewhere in the depths of my computer rests a post I wrote for reflecting on the new year.

Expect more here. Maybe. 

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