Jefferson Ellison's April Editor Letter

Editor letters are an age-old tradition and one usually reserved for print. However, with a global pandemic keeping me inside and a lot of my calendar clear of events and projects, I’ve got plenty of time and even more of a desire to go against the grain.

The letter from the editor is typically a chance to set the tone for each issue. Prepare readers for what they are about to see, explain why certain choices were made and even prep them to agree your choices. Digitally speaking, it has the same purpose but it acts as less of a preface and more so as a statement. Because honestly, what are the chances you’ll be coming back here before you read every article we post? Exactly. But the coming month is one of change for us and I do want to preserve it as such and take a moment to speak to our audience.

We launched our platform 2 years ago last month, and while it has been a journey, it has also been some of the most rewarding work that I’ve ever done. The purpose of the site, is completely in line with my evolution of JAWBREAKING the brand (more on that after the pandemic) - to inject an American youth perspective into the conversation.

Unlike most media brands that claim to represent “this generation” we are not owned by a media powerhouse, we are not based in homogenous hubs like NYC or LA and we aren’t driven by clicks. Our only goal is to provide content that on it’s best day feels necessary and on it’s worst day feels authentic. This became so clear to me last month when we ran Amanda’s story of her rape. It was a difficult decision because, historically, our audience has not always appreciated us taking stances and going too far below the surface - that seems to be changing. Amanda is also one of my dearest friends and I did not want her to regret her decision of telling her story by opening it up to strangers. However, the response was amazing. We received DM’s from those who saw themselves in her story, I received text messages and calls about the beauty of her ownership and Amanda received acknowledgement for her bravery.

After that story and in the times of “The Rona” it has become clear of where we sit on the internet and how we show up in people's lives. This website is the blog equivalent of a dinner party and an open mic night on the Lower East Side. We have a purpose, an agenda, and a style. We strive for a certain execution but at times can get lost in our own ambition. We mean well but it’s not always as good as we think it is but damn it, we’re going to have a good time. I’m thrilled to be leaning in and launching new columns this month along with more videos on IGTV and hopefully an increased dialogue with our audience across all of our platforms - because we have the time and need the connection.

I am more committed than ever to telling stories and providing perspectives that reflect OUR generation and I hope you will join us as we continue to build a community that is complicated, opinionated and incredibly chic.