For no real reason, and in no particular order, here are some people doing worthwhile and interesting things in [waves arms expansively] the media. They all have something in common. I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Shani Hilton, Buzzfeed
Shani Hilton is a big fucking deal and you should pay attention to everything she does. She’s the Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Buzzfeed and when she’s not being ignored by stupid Top 40 Lists, she’s quietly building a media empire and hiring incredible people. You’re not paying enough attention to her, and that’s stupid of you.
Nitasha Tiku, Valleywag
Editor of Valleywag. Twice the work, half the attention. Talks to girls.
Happy 4th of July to my dad, who came to America 40 years ago today with $30-$40 to research Hepatitis B so that I could one day tweet
— Nitasha Tiku (@nitashatiku) July 4, 2014
Rebecca Schoenkopf, Wonkette
Since Schoenkopf took over Wonkette in March 2012, all the important numbers are up – “traffic’s up 65% on last year, we’re getting a half-million unique visitors a month, and 3.7 million page views.” …If anything, Schoenkopf’s Wonkette has been funnier, and more infused with its original sensibility – that of an ardent and scathing liberal woman (the previous two editors were men).
Not that this is relevant, but she’s hot as shit and funny as hell. And she wouldn’t mind my calling her hot as shit in a list that has nothing to do with physical appearance. She runs shit, and she once bought my grandmother two glasses of wine and a hamburger while charming the pants off of her. “That Rebecca is such a wonderful character,” my grandmother says whenever I mention Rebecca to her. “You tell her I say hello.” I always do.
Pilot Viruet, Flavorwire Full disclosure: I have hugged Pilot Viruet within the last week. She was wearing Bart Simpson jorts at the time, if memory serves. She’s the TV and Entertainment editor at Flavorwire and writes occasionally for The A.V. Club. She wrote most recently about the “racist mess” that is “Girlfriend Intervention”:
Practically every other sentence the makeover team says is prefaced with the phrase “as a black woman,” to remind you that they’re black but their canvas is white, and that there are vast differences between black and white women — although the show claims it’s just about women in general, regardless of skin color, and how we all want the same thing (“to look fabulous”) and should all love ourselves. Well, as a black woman, it’s hard for me to feel good about Girlfriend Intervention, because it’s actively trying to make me hate myself and who I am.
She’s very funny on Twitter; you should follow her there.
Heben Nigatu, Buzzfeed
If you didn’t read “If White People Were Described Like People Of Color In Literature” last month, then I don’t want to hear any of your thoughts about publishing.
Mikki Kendall and Jamie Nesbitt Golden, Hood Feminism
Mikki and Jamie started Hood Feminism last year without outside funding or glowing writeups in the press. They just somehow manage to do journalism without any of those things.
Julia Wong, At Large
You’re a fool if you don’t read her every day; you’re an idiot if you don’t hire her to write for you. Also responsible for this sick burn:
Am I the only reporter who went to a #HobbyLobby and interviewed women workers? http://t.co/NuaLNgW6IL — Julia Carrie Wong (@juliacarriew) July 3, 2014
Jia Tolentino, At Large
“And maybe it’s good that people keep writing pieces like this, so impossibly shallow and shortcut-minded that the subtext is clear as anything: look how nice we look, as a people, when white gets to be more interesting and minorities get to look white. Look at this freckled, green-eyed future. Look at how beautiful it is to see everything diluted that we used to hate.”
And for this:
“I don’t believe in zero-sum games and I don’t write this to imply that neurodegenerative disease and human rights abuse have been put in direct conflict. Rather, I’m fascinated with what appears to be the opposite. The contemporaneity of these waves in social communication have revealed these ills — as well as the advocates for their solutions — to not just be non-conflicting but also emblematic of two separate paths of identifying and addressing unfairness, two roads that are inherently miles and miles apart.
Ferguson, unlike the Ice Bucket Challenge, is an opt-in situation, and the demographic division between those who have chosen to get involved in one or the other cause is startling. Tibetan monks on the one hand, Mark Zuckerberg on the other; Amnesty International in Missouri, the Kennedys in Hyannis Port. Maybe for your own social networks the divide is starkly blue and red; it is, very much, for me.”
But always, always for this:
“This is my own problem, an idiot’s problem, the inevitable result of so much time spent doubling down on jokes until they become unrecognizably assimilated into my lifestyle; the distance between poles eventually had to go. But now “Rude” has become the tesseract of both my musical universe and my structural understanding of the relationship between intention and result. It now seems not only possible but staggeringly well-accomplished that a song could draw all its life force from achingly spot-on and specifically out-of-date self-parody without no one involved in the production ever really finding out or in any way having to know. Everything’s collapsed now, everything’s embarrassing.”
Charlotte Shane, Tits and Sass
“Consent in the Context of Sex Work.” That’s…that’s pretty disruptive, right? A writer who talks about her sex work and matters of public policy? This counts as disrupting, I think.
Shafiqah Hudson, This Mermaid Life
Shafiqah’s written for us and she’s currently in the process of funding her own memoir. Because sometimes no one else will do it for you.
Bim Adewumni, The Guardian
Her cultural criticism at The Guardian is collected here (“The truth about pregnancy and work” is worth reading first), her personal writing is at Yoruba Girl Dancing (On “ogbon agba”, and knowing when to shut the hell up).
Jazmine Hughes and Haley Mlotek, The Hairpin
Jazmine Hughes is twenty-two years old. Twenty-two years old. I think Haley is maybe twenty-five. They’re running the joint.
There. That took, like, an hour, and I’m not even a real journalist. IT’S NOT THAT HARD.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.