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Weekly Lunches: An Afternoon at Rolling Stone

By Nina Raemont

The elevator doors of Penske Media Corporation open and all ten of us interns eagerly squeeze out dressed in our business casual attire.

We are greeted by Alison Weinflash, the managing editor of Rolling Stone, who takes us from the PMC lobby to Rolling Stone’s floor. Once we arrive, a rotating wall of magazine covers with hundreds of celebrities and musicians act as our personal welcoming committee. Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, Eddie Murphy, Rihanna, and Obama smile back at us; they’re happy we’re here. We are too.

The weekly, in-person lunches at these lauded legacy media publications will seemingly never lose their luster. “What other time in your life will you get to visit one iconic magazine after another?” I asked myself as we saw the famed 1981 cover photo of a nude John Lennon wrapped around Yoko Ono like a vine—captured hours before his passing.

After cozying into the glass-walled meeting room and opening up boxes of Joe’s Pizza (an NYC staple), it’s time to meet the Rolling Stone writers and editors, both on Zoom and in person.

We are introduced to EJ Dickson, senior writer; Jodi Guglielmi, senior news editor; and Sage Anderson and Nishka Dhawan; two e-commerce senior writers.

Topics like the evolution of internet culture in the aftermath of the 2016 election, social media’s role in present-day journalism, the intricacies of a cover story, and the role of Rolling Stone throughout the years are discussed.

Rolling Stone’s 55-year-old origin story began in the heydays of rock and roll. A lot has changed since 1967, in case you, dear reader, weren’t aware. For one, who became a celebrity and how they became one in yesteryears is almost antithetical to the celebrity machine today. These changes have an impact on who and what Rolling Stone currently covers— MrBeast, a YouTuber with a following of over 9 million, is an ideal example of an unexpected yet totally understandable cover source of Rolling Stone’s.

Regardless of its evolution, the magazine is carving out a space for itself in the zeitgeist through analytical political news coverage, critical internet reporting, and an eclectic taste in the sounds of today to entice new audiences while staying true to their roots. And as interns, we were happy to be a part of that conversation, if only for a few hours.

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