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“Zine pronounced Zeen short for magazine. A lot of people pronounce it wrong.” —KANYE WEST —ME

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a flash thrive publication words + collages by rosemarie alejandrino cover design + layout by krista kurisaki

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I was recently asked in a professional interview by a professional journalist why I still want to pursue journalism when the medium is “inevitably” dying.

“There are many other lucrative career paths to wander down instead of heading down the dead-end concrete wall that is J O U R N A L I S M!”

—not a direct quote, just me being dramatic And I know they were just trying to throw me a curveball of a question, to make sure I was spry on my feet and not high on “the weed” or whatever adults think 20-somethings are up to these days, but this wasn’t the first time this has happened. It wasn’t the first time that someone in a PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISM position has asked me why, OH GOD WHY, would I continue to subject myself to this ruthless, unrewarding craft for virtually no pay and even less sleep. Well, the short answer is: I’m ridiculous. I’ve never been a risk-taker in daily life (like, let’s definitely leave for the bus 15 minutes early so we don’t get stranded in the middle of a major metropolitan city that definitely has at least five ride-sharing services that could get us home if we missed one of six buses that are going downtown), but for some ungodly reason I’ve decided to put all my eggs in one omelet — and that omelet is my sole source of survival. +5 points for practicality!

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But the (slightly) longer answer is this: I’m scared. I’m terrified. And I’m angry. I’m scared that this thing that I love could disappear forever. I’m terrified of never being able to make it, because the so-called “system” isn’t allowing creatives — not just journalists, but all creatives — the proper resources to showcase their work, and proper compensation for said work. And I’m angry because all of that is so frustrating, and anger is often the inspiration for action.


In my interview, I told them this: I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. And I would rather watch this system go down in flames knowing that I tried to be a part of (saving) it, then count myself out completely before even seeing the QUIT screen.

And so, I am leaving behind a (digital) Paper Trail. I hope it leads me somewhere.

*This is all very dramatic, which, you know, tends to come about when things get emotional. But what is art if not a channel for voices that are screaming to be heard? **I may be screaming so loud that I can’t hear the people telling me to shut up. ***Oh well, here is my zine.

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CRETS 10 SHOCKING SE YOU THEY NEVER TELL ME WHEN YOU BECO A JOURNALIST!!! rning your about newspapers tu rry wo to ve ha y all 1. You don’t re yway. no one picks it up an hands black because

2. Every fact is shockin

g and incorrect!!!

3. The editor may co rrect your dangling modifier, but you ar one who can choose e the only to hang up your prin ciples. 4. With a changing audience com

es a changing demand for conten

t.

5. That being said, you wil l learn to be happy when you can afford the “good bread”*** for lunch. And dinner. And instead of cereal. Imagine it is a pancake. Put syrup on it. (You no longer have a syr up budget.) 6. There are people wh o want to make meaning ful change in the indus from the inside out. try,

t part.

des 7. Getting inside is the har

t spit you back , only revolving ones tha ors do c ati tom au no 8. There are ess. ll your hair in the proc out immediately and pu

9. This is not a start-up.

art over).

se it’s so hard to st

a start-up (becau 10. Everything is

***This post is not sponsored by San Luis Sourdough, but we’d love to sell our artistic integrity for unlimited loaves of cracked wheat sourdough bread.

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“I don’t believe that because you had to search so hard and long for records, they meant so much more. I don’t really think that’s true. Lester Bangs once said, and I quoted it in the introduction to his book, ‘My most memorable childhood fantasy was to have a mansion with catacombs underneath containing, alphabetized in endless winding dimly-lit musty rows, every album ever released.’ That was his dream. And well, that dream has been realized, and we all live in that wonderful castle.” —GREIL MARCUS

writing about music has gotten so much easier now that you can get it anywhere. everyone has an opinion. … then, what the hell am i doing here?

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You know it’s bad when you interview for an unpaid internship, tell them you can’t work for free, and the editor says:

“Yeah, I know, it sucks. I really wish we could pay our interns, but we can’t. The industry just sucks right now.” —no, really

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the irony of using an online platform to spread awareness about the decline of print journalism because printing zines is damn expensive

MONEY FOR NOTHING, PRINT FOR FREE. ***Printing, however, is, like, never free. Visit flashthrive.me because we have nothing else to offer you! How enticing!

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P

eople have been writing for millennia. They’ve put their minds to

the written form, letters into words into sentences of text, left for future generations to lust or laugh over. There are so many combinations of words that already exist, iterations of the same letters in similar patterns over similar pages, read from left to right, left to right, left to right.*** ***Yes, I know not all languages read left to right, but I needed it to match my collage, okay?!

But how much is there left to write?

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t takes some time to learn to speak for yourself, but it takes a lot longer to learn how to listen to your own voice with a kind ear, weeding out the static and separating the white noise nighttime thoughts from the gems, the rare jewels that add to the ongoing dialogue — one that started more than a wavelength away. “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix” —“Howl,” Allen Ginsberg

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“I saw myself in the mirror, eating stale corn puffs and drinking flat ginger ale in my underwear, trying to justify my work, my motivation, and my opinions, and trying to figure out if using an app to get ice cream delivered to my house would fill the emptiness left by the hole where my freelance income should be” — “This very zine,” me

ou can talk and talk and talk and talk and scream into the void and oftentimes, no one will listen. You speculate and question and whimper, adding to the even-toned murmur of the city streets, the sounds of living alongside a busy bus stop and a coffee shop. But the screams and the sirens will eventually be drowned out by the sound of your own voice taking precedence over everything else. And you know, not everyone is going to value your work. Recognition and understanding are never guaranteed. But if you don’t give your own work the weight it deserves, no one else will. Only you can even out the scale. And that is the only guarantee. So how much is there left to write?

You tell me.

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THANK U to chrse for rejecting my idea and forcing me to work w/ krista, who understands my colors better than halsey. to tyler & my assistant josh for editing honestly and following me blindly into any desert. to all my journalist friends who have ranted and let me rant to them about the industry (we’re probably going to be just fine). & to sailor moon drops, for giving me a reason to wake up in the morning after keeping me up all night @yesROSEMARIE // @kristavisions_

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paper trail: a zine  

an online-only zine about the dying journalism industry (by someone who has hope in saving it)