Reflecting on The Monthly’s legacy, two years in

Charlotte Walsh, The Monthly Editor

Sweet, sweet Monthly — happy birthday. You’ve given me more than you know: my first celeb story, the first compliment on my reporting from my grandmother and some of my first friends at Northwestern. So now it’s only fitting that I give something back to you.

Working on The Monthly, I’ve been lucky enough to write under the direction and tutelage of an incredible bunch of women (sorry Stav!) who were not only mentors, but friends. Jane, Madeleine, Andrea and Crystal have shaped not only how I write and how I report, but also how I crack a joke or connect with younger reporters. Whether it’s through feeding me a home-cooked meal or getting together for A&E Cozy dinners and Oscar viewings, I’ve learned a lot from these women. I know how much I appreciated it when I was a new staffer, and how much I still do to this day.

And this group of women have not only helped me but have helped The Daily as a whole. Two years ago, The Monthly was little more than an abstract concept for a feature magazine. We didn’t know if it would fade out, as so many well-thought-out concepts at The Daily do. But thanks in part to this group, it’s grown, massively. We’ve interviewed musicians, actors and even ASMRtists, all to make The Monthly a magazine people actually want to read.

Furthermore, we strive to put together a magazine each month that is not only interesting to read but is reflective of the diverse community that makes up the Northwestern arts and entertainment scene. But I have to admit: sometimes we fail you.

Sometimes it’s out of our hands — a source won’t get back to us, a story will fall through — but other times it’s entirely our fault. Sometimes we’ll select a story that is not representative of Northwestern’s community, or we’ll lose sight of why representation in journalism is actually incredibly meaningful.

In the Monthly’s two-year history, we have featured five women on the cover out of 18 issues. We have had just three people of color on the cover. That’s a problem — especially since the magazine is coming from the strong group of women I know and love, and because we all know better.

I love The Monthly. I love opening it up and smelling the newsprint; I love reading stories I would never have even heard of had it not been for this magazine; I love seeing the incredible spreads our design team puts together. And because I love The Monthly, I want to make it better.

The Northwestern community deserves a magazine that represents them. It’s all well and great that we’re turning two — but our legacy means little if we don’t highlight an arts and entertainment culture that is inclusive to everyone, not just a select few. And now that we’ve grown older, hopefully, we’ll become wiser, too.

So happy birthday, Monthly.

To many more years of celeb gossip and spicy takes, but hopefully to many more years of diversity, too.

Read more from April’s edition of The Monthly here.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @charwalsh_