Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Is a Planning for a Career in Journalism a Fever Dream That - If Realized - Would Turn into a Nightmare?

English: University of Montana Journalism logo
English: University of Montana Journalism logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This guy says yes. This guy and this guy say no.

An excerpt from Felix Salmon:

I’m sure that many people have told you this already, but take it from me as well: journalism is a dumb career move. If there’s something else you also love, something else you’re good at, something else which makes the world a better place — then maybe you should think about doing that instead. Even successful journalists rarely do much of the kind of high-minded stuff you probably aspire to. And enormous numbers of incredibly talented journalists find it almost impossible to make a decent living at this game.

An excerpt from Ezra Klein:

Don't go to journalism school. You're better off just interning, or writing a blog, or reading think-tank papers. When I hire, I see j-school experience as neutral — it doesn't separate one resume from another in the least. And a lot of journalism schools teach bad habits, and make you pay for the privilege of learning them. Michael Lewis's takedown of journalism schools, which was published in the New Republic, is worth reading. Letting someone pay you a bit of money to become a journalist, or even pay you nothing at all, is better than paying a j-school a lot of money to become a journalist.

An excerpt from Matthew Yglesias:

What about the issue Salmon raised? Is journalism a profession that denies people "a good chance at a well-paid middle-class lifestyle down the road?" A look at the numbers suggests that Salmon is wrong. Journalism today is very much a middle class occupation. And in many ways that's the problem — the middle class is struggling economically these days, and journalists are no exception.

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