Editor’s Letter: Surprise, surprise

Charlotte Walsh, The Monthly Editor

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This Monthly, my staff and I dove into an entirely new, completely alien realm: football. I know, I know, I was scared too. Two of our stories this month involve football players — a new record for us (thank you Ella for the many Sports x Monthly crossovers). But I like looking at these intersections of artists and athletes: a Pro Bowler who performs “Razzle Dazzle” from the hit musical “Chicago” (in addition to embarking on a gazillion other ventures) and a band of football players who play pop-punk show the multiple interests we all have. I, for one, love marine biology, but I went to school in the Midwest and am bad at math. #Medill

There are surprise stories like these everywhere. Someone proposed in front of me on Sunday as I lovingly whipped out my phone and photographed the happy couple. A U.S. veteran switched careers to save bald eagles. Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner eloped last week. The royal baby was born on the day of the Met Gala, and it was an incredible day for your local arts and entertainment journalist (me).

The majority of good surprises are covered sparingly in favor of the more demoralizing — albeit newsworthy — stories. One student died and seven were wounded in a shooting in a Denver suburb Tuesday. On Easter, Sri Lankans were rocked by multiple church bombings. Notre Dame unexpectedly caught fire, shocking millions who had connected with the monument.

But these good surprises, although less newsworthy, are what give people hope for change. Eddie George shows that it’s never too late to change your career path. Foster Revival shows you’re never pigeonholed into just one stereotype. And that’s what I hope The Monthly can be for — covering stories that bring people hope.

In my last editor’s letter, I reflected on The Monthly’s two year anniversary. Of all the incredible stories we’ve covered, we’ve definitely been lacking too, especially when covering issues of diversity and inclusion. I hope we improve on this in the future, and hopefully we have already made steps towards doing so. But I’m also excited to continue covering the surprising feature stories that bring joy to people, especially myself on long nights like this, when we’re editing The Monthly. That’s why I love creating this magazine, and why I hope you like reading it too.

So stick around for the long haul and take a respite from the bad surprises for a bit. Hopefully you’ll hear about some good.

Read more from May’s issue of The Monthly here.

Email: charlottewalsh2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @charwalsh_

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