Remember when Trivia Crack was all the rage last spring? Admittedly, it took over my life for a short period of time. Trivia Crack had replaced Facebook, Pinterest and Buzzfeed as my main distractors in classes. Though I slowly gravitated back toward social media and personality quizzes, I’m proud to admit that I earned a record-setting 96 percent accuracy in the Arts and Entertainment section. (Sports, on the other hand, we won’t talk about.)
So when I applied and was later accepted as lifestyle editor right around the height of my Trivia Crack career, I looked forward to the prospects of my new section. Entertainment, including travel, books, movies, television, music and art, has always been a passion of mine, and signing off as editorial director, I thought being lifestyle editor would be a more tailored focus of my interests.
My enthusiasm also has to do with the fact that Los Angeles contributed immensely to my understanding of culture. A very loose definition I apply to culture is a binding factor that brings people together. All forms of entertainment, and in my case, movies and music, have that effect on people. Just talking about TV series like True Detective or the rock band Vampire Weekend always elicit the most exciting conversations.
Luckily for me and my writers, L.A. is one of the most prominent cultural and media capitals in the world. I encourage my team of approximately 50 writers to branch out and document as many L.A. events as possible. I think of our section as stenographers for Los Angeles, relaying to Daily Trojan readers the city’s rhythm and beat. One week, the city might be celebrating donuts at a donut festival. Another week, it’s a spotlight on the new Frank Gehry exhibition. Snapshots of individual events offer fellow Trojans a new perspective on the ever-expanding and bustling urban atmosphere.
Almost as important as introducing new surroundings is introducing new material. With new entertainment in various mediums produced daily, it’s essential to detail our reactions to these pieces of work. More often than not, we cast entertainment subjects aside as light-hearted material, but it’s essential to understand that with subjects such as what’s currently playing in the theaters and on music shelves in stores is the power to connect people together. Our opinions about these subjects also generate thought-provoking discourse.
As essential as coverage of outside material is, it’s important to capture the inner workings of USC as well. Again, due to our setting in L.A., USC is a hub for creative students from all over the world. This semester, Lifestyle aims to profile students for their achievements and contributions to the community. So far, we’ve featured a Disney Channel actress, a budding virtual reality entrepreneur and an aspiring singer — there’s definitely more to come.
Another change to Lifestyle this semester is the more intimate nature of our columns. Usually, columnists are selected through previous experience on staff, and exhibition of writing acumen. Giving columnists more free reign of their material will open the door to greater variety in perspectives. On Mondays, we have two alternating music columns while on Tuesdays, Our Women in Film runs. After that, our Wednesday columnists write about mental and physical well-being. Thursdays we have our Melbourne study abroad column and Friday is our book column.
At a glance, Lifestyle might seem like a compilation of articles just showcasing aspects of entertainment, but on a larger scale, it’s so much more — it’s a section that draws people together.
Danni Wang is a junior majoring in psychology. She is also lifestyle editor of the Daily Trojan.