broadsideblog

'Reality' Check For Young Women Readers, A New Magazine Edited By An Undergrad

In Media, women on December 28, 2009 at 11:52 am
Daniel Boone sculpture on the campus of Appala...

Daniel Boone, Appalachian State U. campus. Image via Wikipedia

In the world of most magazine journalism aimed at young women — All-sex-all-the-time! 45,869,797 ways to lose weight! How to make sure he’s really unto you! — here’s a new idea, an on-line magazine with a Christian focus.

Don’t focus on the religious thing. It’s a decent effort. The EIC is Nikki Roberti, who’s 20.

I read a few of the stories and: 1) she needs a copy editor; 2) some of the pieces are wayyyyy too long 3) the writing needs to be a lot stronger. But…

The 2007 Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High grad launched the online magazine “REALITY Check Girl” in September. Roberti is a former writer for The Verge, FLORIDA TODAY’s now-defunct teen section, and 2007 winner of the Al Neuharth Free Spirit Journalism Award.

“REALITY Check Girl” is Christian-based, but not a “Christian” magazine, Roberti said. It features stories aimed at girls ages 15 to 25, covering topics from beauty to current affairs.

REALITY is an acronym for each of the magazine’s sections — Respect, Elegance, Ambition, Love, Intellect, Taste and Youthfulness.

“I’ve always wanted to have a magazine that I felt could touch a wide range of people and could really dig deep,” Roberti said. “Growing up, reading magazines, I would read Seventeen, but my parents wanted me to read Christian magazines. But I felt like Christian magazines didn’t have anything that was really of substance, it was all pretty sheltering, and, at the same time, Seventeen was a little too shocking. So I felt like I could put the two together and get a happy balance and maybe the two demographics could learn something from each other.”

Roberti is a junior journalism major at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., where she has worked as the online editor for The Appalachian, the university’s student newspaper. In January, she’ll move to Washington, D.C., where she’ll intern for the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire, a newswire service.

Good for her. I admire a young female journo trying to offer smart, helpful, non-sexual, snark-free material. So, she’s earnest. There are worse positions from which to operate, like endless cynicism or paid-for “reviews”.

Even if they’re a little clunky, I like the categories that make up the title of her magazine, especially respect.

Respect is something so many young women still (sigh) struggle hard to win — whether from their families of origin, their in-laws (she has an interview with a new 18-year-old bride), their co-workers, employers, professors. Just about everyone. As all feminists know, recognizing and naming explicitly what you need is half the battle in starting to fight for it.

Here’s an interesting first-person story on her site about a young American woman who volunteered to join the Israeli Army.

  1. Not my thing, but I love the kids who are bold today. As awful as the job market is, journalism students keep clamoring to enter the field. As much as many of these 20-somethings need copy editors and grammarians, they also really do offer the best hope of something fresh and new.

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