No matter how hard I try to tune out the buzz, I can’t avoid hearing shouts about the disastrous millennial generation that is poisoning our culture and economy with laziness and a misguided sense of entitlement. A quick Google search taught me that this generation is defined as those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s—a loose demographic of 10 through thirty-something year olds for older generations to berate and lay a finger of blame.
Credible digital and print publications such as Time magazine, and now even authors, are writing articles and books that define us as dumb, unmotivated, and most impressively, lazy. They tell us that we aren’t working hard enough, or that we lack empathy, or that we postpone growing up in favor of sipping our IPAs and beating our violent videogames.
This stereotypical slander is fervently disproven every day at the University of Oregon. By way of example, I am proud to report that Ethos Magazine is the product of bone-grinding work by fulltime students. Each member of our student staff labors to not only balance classes, homework, student debt, and school projects, but also commits tireless hours of unpaid time. We can only hope that our primary goals to hone our skills as journalists will enable us to stand out in what seems to be a shrinking job market that looms post-graduation.
As journalism majors specifically, many of us will soon funnel into the economy’s biggest scam—internships. Paid or unpaid, students are producing work and content that would typically demand at least an entry-level salary, but instead will only generate a modest stipend or a pat on the back in return. Meanwhile, the cushy salaries of CEOs continue to inflate as students starve in debt and are forced to live with their parents before receiving a living salary. If I sound bitter, it is because we millennials didn’t create this mess, but many of us are suffering for it.
So please allow me to further dispel the oft-told myth of the entitlement, lack of motivation, and uncaring attitude that is attributed to my generation. I think you will appreciate the 20 hours that Ethos feature writer Kyle Hentschel put into “A Violent Education” (Page 32). Staff photographer Kyle McKee estimates he spent eight hours on the same story, and designer Delaney Pratt devoted 10 hours to those pages. Copy and managing editors spent at least another fifteen hours on this story. All said and done, this one article was the product of at least 53 hours of student work.
We are extremely proud of this story and all the others included in this issue. And if we’ve chipped away even slightly at the bad rap millennials seem to get these days, then we’ve accomplished far more than “just” producing quality journalism.
Editor in Chief