Mark Graham on Finding Meaningful Work in Digital Media

In Chapter 8 of 17 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, digital media executive Mark Graham answers "What Makes Your Work Meaningful?"  Graham notes he works in entertainment and how his goal is to make things fun for his audience.  The challenge is to help his team filter through a crowded pop culture landscape to deliver relevant, enjoyable information they cannot find elsewhere. 

Mark Graham is currently a managing editor at VH1, an MTV Networks company. Previously Graham worked in editing and writing roles at New York Magazine and Gawker Media.  He graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English.  


Erik Michielsen: What makes your work meaningful?

Mark Graham: Great question. I take a lot of pride in the work that I do, in the work that my team puts out, you know, I’m covering light and fluffy topics, you know, I’m not a journalist who’s traveling to Afghanistan and doing hard journalism. We’re doing things that are fun and that are diversions to people during their workday who maybe are a little bit bored and need something fun to sort of give them a little jolt of energy at the job, so in terms of meaningfulness, what I look to do with the content that I create personally and that our team produces, is to make sure things are really fun for people. 

I like it when we create pieces of content that my friends talk about, that, you know, strangers on the internet comment on, that people you don’t know share and discover and pass on to new people, that’s always been a real thrill and sort of the reason why I’m in the area that I’m in right now. That’s always been a passion of mine, you know, helping people sort of filter through a really crowded pop culture landscape, and sort of help people who have limited time, sort of figure out where they should spend their time or not spend their time. Those are the things that—They’re light and fluffy—I don’t know if I would attach a word like meaningful to it, I’m just more in a place where I like things to be fun and it’s okay to be a little bit frivolous, but also delivering information that people want and that people can’t get in other places.