When then college freshman Anushka Joshi co-founded a magazine in 2018, she couldn’t have imagined the chaos that would shake American democracy just two years later. Yet, in the midst of a pandemic and unprecedented general election season, GEN-ZiNE—a publication dedicated to addressing contemporary issues through the lens of Generation Z—turned out to be the perfect forum for Joshi and her Gen Z peers to throw their hats in the ring.
Released online and in-print on Sept. 21, GEN-ZiNE’s most recent issue, the Election Guidebook, amplifies young perspectives on hot-button issues, and connects readers during a period of isolation and change.
“Watching the past four years unfold has been torture, especially because I was unable to have my voice accounted for in the past election. It’s been a daunting and tumultuous time, and oftentimes filled with hopelessness. But this election represents an inflection point for our country’s history and my generation,” Joshi, who serves as editor-in-chief, told Ms. “This is the first election where we are able to vote, and to me our turnout will be evidence of what we are capable of creating together in the future.”
The publication has covered politics and injustice throughout their previous issues—discussing everything from abortion to period poverty to Trump’s presidency—in addition to more lighthearted pieces on pop culture. The Election Guidebook, however, offers a comprehensive view on what’s at stake come November, detailing how their audience can get involved and have an impact.
Despite the subtitle “Divided States of America,” the Letter from the Editors (p. 7) reassures readers that “…it is not meant with pessimism. The goal of this issue is to redefine the American Dream––we are better together.”
Articles range from considering America’s aversion to a female president (p. 33) to introducing Gen Zers to their potential roles in political campaigns (p. 76). It places particular emphasis on the importance of each ballot, and the extensive impact voters can have on one another.
“Though we would love to bridge the divide between all sides—there is too much at stake in this upcoming election to not be unapologetic in our beliefs and voices. Although many of the opinion pieces preach partisan messages, our overall call-to-action is to get out and vote no matter your political affiliation,” Joshi said regarding the political leanings of her staff’s collective message.
The young editorial team is proud of what they have accomplished with the Election Guidebook, and are excited to see the zine grow its platform. This issue alone—the fifth to be published—featured contributions from more than 30 Gen Zers, and has reached thousands more.
“GEN-ZiNE has become a space to express creativity, create community, incubate our ideas and talents, and change the way we converse and engage with each other while we’re at it,” Joshi told Ms. “In this issue we educate & amplify, and prepared to organize & mobilize. It is an artifact of our rage and dedication to making a difference when approaching this upcoming election.”
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