December Editor’s Letter: Of The New Decade

I’ve been thinking a lot about the events that have led me to where this magazine is now—I believe I both have had it easy and had it hard. I credit our victories with the hard realities that had to follow pre and post celebration, it’s a fine balance of wanting to scream from the rooftops how much we’ve done while remaining rooted in thankfulness. 

In 2019, we’ve seen the rise and fall of many magazines, media entities, storytellers—it’s been both a reality check and blissful excitement from our familial megaphone. But why is this? We’re on Twitter, on Instagram, on so many platforms that allow us to tell our stories open and honestly. But as we venture into 2020, stories become a who’s who game of most liked, most shareable, most viral. The epic nature of a story now only hold space if it can reach a wide audience faster, smaller, and without concrete voice. That’s how we’re seeing the rise and fall of storytellers. On the latter part of this year, Anxy Mag reported it would cease operations at the end of November—it was a hard pill to swallow. Anxy had become the poster child of how to tell stories that could hit critical mass, it had seemed that there was no end in site. Though, very poetically and with total intention, founder Indhira Rojas wrote to her readers in a Medium essay, “In May, I took a break from the magazine to reflect and recalibrate the possibilities for our brand and our community. I wanted to explore the question, can Anxy be more than a personal passion project? More than a print magazine?”

Anxy could not support itself without a significant portion coming from outside capital, thus fully funded themselves with platforms such as Kickstarter—Rojas goes onto say, “I dreamed of creating an Anxy app that provided another layer of storytelling and psychoeducation. In my wildest ambitions, I imagined Anxy wellness and self-care products, as well as Anxy documentaries and TV,” theorizing that, “[…] in the end, our truth is more art than commerce.” Both Rojas and I share the same sentiment that media is becoming almost impossible to fund. Advertisers are becoming their own storytellers, they don’t need the reliance of us small fish to help them tell their stories. With the lay-offs at Vox Media, closures of some of our favorite Bay Area reads, the loss of people’s livelihoods, we ask ourselves why do we continue to work in such a field that isn’t respect like it once was. I can’t speak for everyone, but it’s been for you, the reader. 

But how can you, the reader, support magazines, media entities, storytellers without monetary transactions. It’s all about knowing that you, as a person who reads, that you relate, debate, challenge, and know that you feel apart of the magazines, media entities, storytellers story. Especially in the wake of Assembly Bill 5, media will start to thin out more and more in California—where stories will no longer be told. So celebrate the victories, no matter how small they are.  

// Photography by Hermes Rivera.

December Editor’s Letter: Of The New Decade
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