Pitzer Student Starts Online Publication

The past decade has seen the face of journalism change in a multitude of ways, most evidently through the amplification of online media. Journalism is no longer confined to an elite group of writers; now anyone has the tools to write for an audience. 

Richie Siegel PZ ’16 is the founder and editor of Seersucker, a new online publication for the 18-to-24-year-old demographic that is set to launch in January 2013. Siegel said that the content will focus on lifestyle, politics, culture and opinion writing. The website will be “a place where young, budding writers can see their work published on a professional platform,” he said.

Siegel added that these articles will be unique in that they are “really clear and in-depth, yet in a style of writing that makes topics accessible for all readers.”

The idea for creating the platform materialized after Siegel had his own opinion pieces published in The Huffington Post and Chicago Tribune. While he was fortunate enough to see his words in print, he quickly realized that the established media “doesn’t really care for young voices” and therefore “doesn’t really publish them,” he said. He concluded that there is “a whole category of people who are not being represented.”

“I really want to know what people my age think,” Siegel said. “I love reading what the critics compose, but there is a definite disconnect between a theater review written by a critic who has studied theater for 40 years and what they think and what someone who happens to like theater but has not been doing it their whole life thinks. That is the opinion I want to be reading more of.”

Siegel’s interest in the arts goes back to when he was very young. Before graduating high school, he received eight Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards in areas ranging from filmmaking to photography to design to writing.

For his junior and senior years of high school, Siegel attended Interlochen Arts Academy, a boarding school in Michigan. His primary focus was on filmmaking. His short films were accepted into 15 film festivals across the U.S. However, during his senior year, his interest centered more on photography and writing.

Siegel prefers to write about politics and the effects of technology on society. His opinion articles for The Huffington Post include “Google Is Steamrolling Washington (and Us),” and “What if the FDA labeled politicians?”

“I like to think of myself as pretty plugged in when it comes to technology, but at the same time, it’s important to take a step back and see if all of it is really as great as it seems,” he said.

Siegel said that it was through photography that he trained his eyes for filmmaking. He uses his Nikon D800 regularly to capture images of landscapes and architecture.

“Recently I have started doing a lot more concert photography, though, which is really fun because I can then also write reviews of the musicians for the Seersucker,” he said.

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