Elsewhere (114)
Elsewhere (115)

Their Mighty Brains Will Save Us

Good news, everyone

From Monday the Guardian is handing over control of its features content to 10 young trainee journalists… Here they describe the topics they want to explore and debate – the media, sex, food, employment, globalisation and more.  

Thrilling, isn’t it? All that exploring and debating by the titans of tomorrow as they probe “the issues that matter to us and why.” They have a mission statement and everything:

We are all members of Generation Y – those born between the early 80s and early 00s.

And this, in itself, is somehow fascinating and a basis for applause. 

Like every generation, we think we see things differently from the ones that came before us. Also like every generation, we face rapid change that we don’t fully understand – for instance, are we really digital natives, or just magpies collecting shiny things? Are we doomed? Is our future a dystopian IRL news feed of being screwed over by landlords/elected officials/ill-judged sexts?

With such pressing questions in mind,

For one week, we will share our perspectives on the media, globalisation, sex and pop culture,

Media, globalisation, sex and pop culture. Wooh, yeah. Can the system cope with this avalanche of intellectual boldness?

These are some of the pieces we will be bringing you:

Buzzfeed’s Beastmaster explains the cat thing.

Everything you wanted to know about trans sex lives and were rude enough to ask.

And obviously,

Why Clueless defines Gen Y better than any other single cultural artefact.

As you can see, it’s “a week for everyone,” brought to you by an “eclectic mix of voices that have yet to be heard.” And so let’s meet some of these eclectic debaters and explorers, this hot and sassy new Guardian team.

There’s Emma Howard, 26, who studied English in Leicester and Strasbourg and lists her credentials as “community organising” and “having fun with other social activists,” which, we learn, “can mean standing on the street with placards.” “I think about power a lot,” says she. Podcast enthusiast Fred McConnell, 27, is the sole male in a group of ten and tells us that, “After university I headed to Afghanistan to produce multimedia for a skateboard charity.” As one does. And there’s Hannah Jane Parkinson, 24, who “performs poetry” and whose areas of expertise are “lifestyle and pop culture.” Ms Parkinson is “from Liverpool, but moved to Russia to drink vodka and play at being Lara from Dr Zhivago.” She moved again, to London, “for a great job,” one in which she “got to look at cat gifs.” “I couldn’t be happier at the Guardian,” says Ms Parkinson. “It’s where I always wanted to work.”

Meanwhile, Leila Haddou, 26, is “really concerned that we are the first generation to be poorer than our parents, despite being the most educated.” Some readers may wonder if there’s a clue in that sentence. But let’s not linger on that. Instead, we have to brace ourselves for the cutting insights of Erica Buist, 29, a “recovering stand-up comedian” who “studied philosophy at Durham, moved to Mexico for two years,” and now runs “a blog called How to Be Jobless,” which “looks at the disappointment and despair that comes with realising that, when it comes to getting a job, nothing you’ve done is good enough.” Apparently running up huge debts studying philosophy and then fleeing to Mexico somehow didn’t cut it in today’s job market. Chief among Ms Buist’s journalistic offerings is an extended critique of drop-crotch meggings.  

Yes, from the intellectual hotbed of campus life (non-maths division) to spells in Mexico, Strasbourg and Russia, while fretting about “social justice” and producing multimedia for Afghan skateboard charities. A snapshot of the nation and its everyday concerns.