The Future of Journalism?

The list of up-and-coming media “stars” has me worried.

Forbes recently published its annual list of “30 Under 30 in the Media,” which includes a variety of troubling selections.

For example, the magazine highlighted Jacob Tobia, who has written a memoir, Sissy, and essays that “speak both to the gender nonconforming community” in which he/she “helps demystify the gender/queer divide.”

Huh? That’s what we need in the United States: nonconforming communities!

Clint Smith, a graduate student at Harvard, has written for The New Yorker, Atlantic, and The New Republic. “My goal is to use a range of different mediums and genres to complicate our conceptions of history,” he says, “so that we are more fully able to understand what has led us to this moment of such profound racial and social inequality.”

Huh? Complications about conceptions of history?

As digital editorial director of Teen Vogue, Phillip Picardi “introduced the website’s political and wellness coverage, helping to shift the brand away from just fashion and celebrity and towards themes of gender equality and social justice. He was so successful that he took on the same role at Allure, and this year he launched the LGBTQ focused Them, Condé Nast’s first new brand since 2007.”

Huh? Teen Vogue recently decided to eliminate its print edition.

Alexandra Petri is a humor writer and the youngest-ever columnist at The Washington Post. “We live in a surreal, Dali-esque world where time seems to crawl, everyone’s clocks are melting, and all laws are passed by creepy white bone pelvises standing alone in deserts, and I think we need jokes to get through it,” she says.

Huh? I don’t think that many people believe the world is surreal. Salvador Dali’s painting is called “The Persistence of Memory” rather than “Melting Clocks”–a relatively common mistake. I always thought it was pretty weird, but I guess a 1931 painting resonates with those under 30.

Dali’s 1931 painting “The Persistence of Memory”

Cooper Hefner, the son of Hugh, “recently worked to keep Playboy relevant by bringing back nudity and featuring the first-ever transgender playmate in the magazine’s centerfold.”

Huh? Against the backdrop of a growing number of sexual harassment cases, I am not sure how these actions provide relevance.

Jazmine Hughes is an associate editor at The New York Times Magazine. One of her highlighted credits is editing an interview with California crazy Maxine Walters.

Huh? A good editor would have found a way to toss the interview in the circular file, but I guess those under 30 are unfamiliar with that action.

If you want to feel mad or sad or both, here is the entire list:

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to teach a Pulitzer Prize winner, a Pulitzer finalist, and myriad individuals who have brought honor to their craft. I am glad that none of them ever made this insipid list.