Sunday, January 29, 2006

Pity the journalists

It's been a little overdue - but here's by response to anonymous (see comments for Blues no more - Thursday January 5,2006)
Refer to these websites to get the gist.


I completely agree with JobPundit - that journalists are stuck in this tournament - a vicious game of who will get to the top.
He explains:

The rules of this tournament are straightforward. You must start at the bottom to have a shot at the top, you must be willing to work long and hard at sub-standard wages. In order to advance in the tournament, you must prove yourself to be not merely above average but spectacular(the way to distinguish yourself differs from profession to profession), once you come to the sad realization that you will never make it to the top, you will quit the tournament.

Oh, I'm only in my second year of j-school and the pressure is on. Get good grades, find great stories, produce articles and packages for no money at all, find an internship. AAAAH!

Talking about internships - the application process was in December and now by January, most of us have found out if a full-time (paid) summer internship is in the works for June. But the reality for, I'd day 85% of ConU j-students, is that they won't have an internship. I've gotten many letters back, telling me, 'we're sorry, we are only hiring graduating students.' Darn. I'll try again next year. What do I need to do to prove myself, I wonder? I have a portfolio with over 150 articles in it...we have some strong competition and some great writers. I'll have to do better and work harder if I don't want to be driven away from the "tournament."

But already, quite a few students dropped out since last year, some are still questionning their choice and many are starting to wonder "why am I getting a Bachelor's when I might not even get a job, and most probably will not make much money?"

But I enjoy being a journalist. I enjoy my job as a community newspaper journalist, even if I'm being paid peanuts. I would not trade it in for any McJob out there.


Journalists have long suffered from what David Brooks (in his excellent Bobos in Paradise phase) identified as status-income disequilibrium. Journalists received low wages compared to many of their peers and neighbors but enjoyed higher prestige and job security. But for employees of the media Big Three, both the prestige and job security are fading as the publications hemorrhage audiences, advertisers, buzz, and public esteem.

What prestige? I don't see much prestige in this job. Unless you are the lead anchor for CNN or one of NY Time's columnists. But then again, this shouldn't be about the prestige, no?
Aren't journalists out to report on the world's events, without being the center of attention? (Oh, my mistake, many journalists have egos the size of Canada. And I can see some developing already in j-school....should be interesting to work with these divas later on.)

Oh well, I guess journalists like their big fat paychecks too. Where's mine?


Anonymous w. said...

you ever notice how most of the "divas" in our classes are actually men?


9:12 PM  
Anonymous w. said...

this might be of interest, if anyone can figure out how to get the fulltext version. it just came out in the most recent issue of the Canadian Journal of Communication.

"It's Time to Redefine Journalism Education in Canada."
Mike Gasher, Concordia University

ABSTRACT: "Canadian journalism schools need to redefine their mission from serving the twin masters of the news industry and the university to serving journalism in all its emerging forms. This can be done by more closely adhering to the university's demands of research, teaching and community service, and more specifically by adopting a more critical and theoretical research-oriented stance. This will not only serve students by making them better-educated journalists, but will serve journalism by giving journalism educators a role to play in its current transformation."

5:47 PM  

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