I expect trend pieces to be bad. I expect them to be superficial, hacky, tendentious, filled with irritating neologisms, short-sighted, over-determined, thesis-driven and not truly "reported," and to be built around quotes from the author's own friends. This is journalism.
I expect trend pieces to be, at best, written on tight deadlines by people who, were they only afforded the opportunity, might surprise even their jaded editors with something much, much better.
I expect, in other words, to learn about "faminism" and then spend 15 minutes I will never get back listening to "faminism" being parsed on NPR by one of the term's creators, a woman who sounds frankly embarrassed of it. I expect to read 8,000 iterations of the same Fashion Bloggers In The Front Row piece. The same Rich People Find Ways To Sneak Cigarettes piece. To learn about such non-events in the history of American socializing as the Man Date. To hear some writer's shallow reflections on demographic change reported as fact, to whit, the I Happen To Know A Handful Of Women Who Went To Good Universities And Now Want Kids piece. Trend pieces are so inane and idiotic, and this has been a fact acknowledged by so many people for so long, that in 2006 the Observer even ran a trend piece about how trend pieces have gotten really dumb. Nut graph: