The title of this letter is taken straight from a speech given by one of the most influential women of our time. During the height of the #MeToo movement, Oprah uttered those rousing words which triggered a standing ovation from the biggest names in Hollywood. The idea of a brighter tomorrow is something we as a divided human race can unify around. There are individuals, like Oprah, who see the potential the human race can offer. Farid is potential. Potential that will be tapped, packaged and released into the wilds of a modern media landscape.
The year is 2006 and as Ugly Betty hit our screens, I was instantly captivated by her world. Not only was it exciting but it was one of the few shows I saw real diversity in terms of sexuality and race, something that spoke to me on a personal level. To work in media has been the goal ever since. That is, besides the brief two years I believed veterinary science was in the stars. Looking back now, I am decidedly more into exposés and photoshoots than kitten births and doggy surgery. Sorry, mum! This might be because I don’t possess the patience and focus that is required when a life is in your hands! I have always found it difficult to focus on the task at hand, usually because I am far more interested in what is happening outside the classroom than learning about it.
Knowledge is important and the only way to gain that is through grinding hard, but first world experiences can only be gained by getting out there and taking risks. As students, we sometimes forget that being a part of history can be just as important as learning about it.
Having deferred my final year of University, I have had considerable time to twiddle my thumbs and truly figure out what breed of journalist I want to be. Sure, the idea of Fashion Week still gets my synapses firing, but I have also seen the light and realised the power and privilege we hold. We, as journalists, possess the influential role to control and change the narrative of the 21st century. In some cases, for example, with a particular British newspaper who invaded the privacy of thousands of people, this power is greatly misused and the trust between the audience and gatekeeper is broken. Journalists are one of the most distrusted professions in the world, alongside physicians and politicians. In 2019, that is a terrifying fact. When the leader of the world’s largest economy is constantly referred to as a Cheeto, where does that leave us? Farid aims to change the general consensus around the profession and show journalism in the light that it deserves.
Despite the blatant mistrust, people still rely on media outlets for their daily exchange in the most powerful currency in the world, knowledge. It is through knowledge and communication that our society sustains and evolves, so why are journalists rarely held accountable for their actions? Sure, Scarlett Johansson playing everything but a white, cis-gendered woman is something to be talked about… but Texas concentration camps and environmental collapse are things that should take prominence. People go to the media for different things – some aim to be informed, while others simply want to know what Disney Princess they are. Here’s a shock: you can be black and still be Ariel!
Whether you want a hard-hitting political piece or the top dishes to serve at a tapas night, then Farid is something to have bookmarked on your phone, laptop and iPad. You can also find us on social media… just so you know!
The landscape of social media is a constantly evolving minefield of endorphin releases and utter car crash moments. I deleted Instagram from my phone last year, instead choosing to create a new page on my Macbook simply to keep up with various brands and celebrities that I felt personally connected to. I was tired of seeing unattainable figures and ‘influencers’ claiming positivity but then pushing weight-loss teas to an audience younger than me. This being said, social media can be the perfect tool for any brand, but it can also be a repetitive domain where posts seem recycled and fabricated.
This year I aim to collaborate with a vast community of creatives from across the globe to create a truly diverse pool of talent. Because to comment on contemporary culture a media outlet must reflect its people in all their varied beauty. Our world is so diverse, and yet a white, cis-gendered story still takes priority in some of the most ‘woke’ countries in the world. We are introducing a weekly digital column entitled ‘R.E.P: Resist, educate, persist’ where we will profile, discuss and probe into some of the biggest social topics happening right now. We will continue to bring you striking visuals and mesmerising video content but be prepared for all the other things close on the horizon.
Stay tuned readers because just like Ugly Betty did in season 4, this magazine’s getting a makeover. You better trust and believe!
Your Editor in Chief,