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Big Media's Newest Editor-in-Chief Finally Gets It 

Big Media's Newest Editor-in-Chief Finally Gets It 

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Elaine Welteroth is championing a long-awaited, new and improved media diet for young women. Her message?  'Don’t be eye candy. Be soul food.'


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Welteroth, the new Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue, is reportedly pushing for more diversity and coverage of important issues pertaining to young women in the magazine.  'News and Politics' is now the first category listed on, taking precedence over fashion, beauty, and entertainment.  The influx of politically fueled content has given readers Opinion articles with substance—something nourishing to bite into, rather than just nutrient-deficient journalistic fluff.  This comes as a welcome change, as intelligently formulated opinions were something I craved as a teen, but they were virtually impossible to find amid the pages of celebrities, fashion, beauty and 'how to get the guy' advice.

When Teen Vogue published 'Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America' by Lauren Duca in December of 2016, something inside of me was ignited as I watched a writer from a teen magazine stun millions with a thought-provoking and powerful opinion piece of journalism, thereby proving that young women, and their magazines, had something to say.

'Many people tweeting the story did so with an incredulous tone, seeming surprised that a teen-oriented magazine was publishing incisive political coverage rather than makeup tutorials or One Direction interviews,' said Sophie Gilbert, staff writer for The Atlantic.

Elaine Welteroth is championing a long-awaited, new and improved media diet for young women.

I was taught in Journalism School that progress in big media was similar to a big ship attempting a turn.  And that was how I felt about women’s media failing to innovate (bSmart Guide being the speed boat alternative).  But this article definitely made waves.  Under Welteroth’s influence, Teen Vogue is covering Indigenous American rights, featuring female role models and leaders, and challenging young women to stand up for their rights following the presidential election.  At age 29, Welteroth is Condé Nast’s youngest Editor-in-Chief and only the second African American in their history to hold the title.  Not only is this momentous, it also marks a change of course in mainstream women’s media that other publications would be smart to follow.

This blog post was originally published on bSmart Guide.

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