Malhar Mali is the founder and editor of Areo Magazine, an outlet that supports free debate on political, social, and academic issues. B+D editors Mitchell Blatt and Sumantra Maitra have each contributed to Areo.
This is the first in our series of B+D’s Q+A’s with writers, editors, pundits, and other figures in society and politics we will be publishing. Follow them all here in the category Q+A.
1. When did you start Areo Magazine, and what was your goal with it?
I launched Areo on November 22nd, 2016 because I was extremely frustrated by what I was reading in American media in general. I think I mentioned Huffington Post and Brietbart as the two opposing poles that I would have liked to avoid when I first “announced” this venture.
What you read and the media you consume is so important because it literally shapes the worldview of what you believe and how you see life and everyday occurrences. I say this because most people generally believe what they read without hesitation and rarely search for the rhetorical moves that writers might be making to hide information, influence opinion, and so on. We are rarely critical.
In this regard I think we are failing ourselves. Of course it’s easy for me to say that and I make no claim of being a paragon of rationality and self challenge — It’s tough to do that consistently. Realistically people will read what suits their ideological viewpoint. It’s extremely difficult to challenge yourself consistently enough where you’re actively seeking information that refutes your worldview. But it’s worth endeavoring to do so.
2. Do you feel the traditional left-right divide is sufficient to explain politics today? If not, what are some of the factors that are more important?