I started a newsletter...again

this one, we just won't blow up!

Hi! Nice to see you.

If you’ve accidentally clicked on this link, apologies. But I mean, since you’re here…

I’m Zoe Christen Jones, or as my roommates call me, “the one who writes.” This year has been a rollercoaster and its very best, and a gaping maw of terror at its most neutral. If you’re on media!Twitter, you know that it’s basically tradition to tweet out the year-end stories you’re proudest of. But when I tried to craft my thread of articles, I realized the story that I’m proudest of is my own.

So…roll call.

January 2020, I was the senior video producer at Newsweek Magazine, producing interviews, explainers, a talk show, and a podcast, stuck in a pivot to video job that both got me my first break in journalism and was keeping me from making my next one.

Enter a global pandemic, the resurgence of Black Lives Matter, and a personal story that I shared in my first newsletter, that to my surprise, began circulating. Two weeks later, my article was published in Vox’s first-person section, and I finally did something I had never been brave enough to do. Without a plan, or a goal, I quit my full-time job, leaving my staff role behind to find a place that appreciated me.

In the span of five months, I published countless news articles, freelance essays, reviews, and cultural analysis. And something must have worked because in November, I started as a full time reporter for CBS News. Now, as a writer, I cover breaking news, race, and features in a job I absolutely love.

So why start a newsletter?

I know, I know, no one wants another newsletter. But this isn’t about you, is it?

In my role as reporter, my current focus is on nationwide stories, intricate reporting, and writing the most up to date news as quickly and as accurately as possible. But something that I miss from my freelancing days is the ability to turn a simple trend into a larger conversation, whether it be arguing for Hozier’ crown of king of cottagecore, recapping why The Bold Type was on some bs this season, or explaining what makes Twitter’s white boy of the month so loveable.

I’m obsessed with the way discourse rules our online spaces, and I miss both explaining that to people and making even the smallest of trends somehow about me.

Enter This Course.

This newsletter won’t just say discourse is happening, but explain how it started, where it’s going, and what it says about the world we live in. It’ll provide cultural analysis, not just on news, but on the silly, mundane, or earth-shattering things we’re talking about online. Even if you’re not “into” culture, for better or worse, it’s already an intrinsic part of your life— why not read about how it’s apart of mine?

Still not convinced? Follow me on Twitter to see how I use my liberal arts degree! Or better, subscribe—I may surprise you.