Elaine Welteroth helps Teen Vogue find its voice

In December, an online article titled “Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America” went viral, quickly becoming the most-read story in Teen Vogue for 2016 and signaling to the world that the magazine planned to be a powerful voice during the Trump era.

Since then, Teen Vogue editor and Sacramento State alumna Elaine Welteroth (’07, Communication Studies/Public Relations) has been on the national media interview circuit, explaining that the shift to a more overtly political tone shouldn’t be as surprising as people think.

Teen Vogue has as much right to be at the table talking about politics as every young woman right now,” Welteroth said during a Feb. 13 appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

The magazine’s current print issue, focused on love and relationships, features an article on living as a young queer person during the Trump administration, as well as the story of a Syrian refugee who found love in America. Browse the Teen Vogue website, and intermixed with the latest fashion trends and entertainment gossip are pieces about immigration policy, depression in black women and the Russian hacking scandal.

Welteroth is just the second African American editor in the more than 100-year history of publisher Condé Nast. Following stints at Glamour magazine and Ebony, she was hired as Teen Vogue’s beauty editor in 2012 before taking over the top spot in 2016. The magazine since has moved from monthly to quarterly, but under her leadership, its audience continues to grow. She and digital editorial director Phillip Picardi told Daily Show host Noah that monthly unique visitors to the website have increased from 2 million to 10 million, and that print subscriptions also are up.

Learn more about Welteroth’s work at Teen Vogue in the Daily Show interview and in this December segment featured on NPR.

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Author: Jonathan Morales

Writer and content producer at Sacramento State, writing about all things Made at Sac State.

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