What is The Present Age?

The Present Age is a newsletter by me, Parker Molloy, about communication in a hyperconnected world. It’s named after an 1846 pamphlet by philosopher Søren Kierkegaard titled The Present Age: On the Death of Rebellion. Notwithstanding the 175 years that have passed since its release, Kierkegaard’s The Present Age is a remarkably prescient piece of writing about “the age of advertisement and publicity,” where “nothing ever happens but there is immediate publicity everywhere.” (I don’t think he would have liked Twitter very much.)

As for this newsletter, I’m starting it as an opportunity to explore topics related to communication that stretch beyond the world of political media. The era of COVID-19 has forced people to reassess how they interact with the world. Charismatic office workers and masters of in-person communication had to adjust to a world of Zoom chats and emails. Touring musicians had to find new ways to connect with fans.

Who is Parker Molloy?

I’m a Chicago-based writer, music aficionado, and animal lover. I’m married to a wonderful, talented, and funny woman named Kayla. I also have one dog (Tater Tot) and one cat (Snickers).

Between 2018 and 2021, I was editor-at-large at Media Matters for America, a progressive non-profit media watchdog. There, I wrote about the role right-wing media played in the rise of Donald Trump and the creation of alternate perceived realities. I’ve also written on a freelance basis about culture, technology, politics, sports, and LGBTQ issues for outlets like The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Daily Beast, and VICE.

The Present Age was the 2022 winner of New York University’s American Journalism Online Award for Best Media Criticism. Judge and former CNN host Brian Stelter called my work “an essential part of an informed citizen’s media diet.”

Why should I pay for this newsletter?

The truth is that the more people who sign up for the paid version of this newsletter, the less income I’ll need to make up in other places. Paid subscribers will have priority access to new features as I release them, will be able to participate in group discussions, and just generally show their support for the work I’m doing. Is this a risk for me? Yes, but that’s what makes it worth doing!

I will always do my best to accommodate those who can’t afford subscriptions of their own. If you’d like to purchase a subscription for someone else, you can do so by clicking the button below.

Give a gift subscription

Subscribe to The Present Age

Parker Molloy’s award-winning media criticism, culture, and politics newsletter.


Author of The Present Age, a Substack newsletter about media and culture