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How America’s top newsrooms recruit interns from a small circle of colleges

How America’s top newsrooms recruit interns from a small circle of colleges

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Contributions

  • I tweeted encouragement to young journalists that hard work - not academic pedigree - is what matters, in the wake of a tweet from the New York Times’ Director of newsroom fellowships & internships that smacked of elitism. Seems AAJA’s analysis of newsroom data indicates the fix is in, for the elite

    I tweeted encouragement to young journalists that hard work - not academic pedigree - is what matters, in the wake of a tweet from the New York Times’ Director of newsroom fellowships & internships that smacked of elitism. Seems AAJA’s analysis of newsroom data indicates the fix is in, for the elite in top newsrooms. Disclaimer: I’m a product of two of what the NYT Director considers top tier schools. It shouldn’t matter.

  • Elitism is only a cycle as long as elites consider sycophancy acceptable. I got a journalism masters from Syracuse’s Newhouse school — one of the top j-schools in the nation. Yet the guy who hires interns at the New York Times tweeted that Newhouse isn’t a top-tier journalism school. (You can probably

    Elitism is only a cycle as long as elites consider sycophancy acceptable. I got a journalism masters from Syracuse’s Newhouse school — one of the top j-schools in the nation. Yet the guy who hires interns at the New York Times tweeted that Newhouse isn’t a top-tier journalism school. (You can probably guess what he *did* think was top-tier.) It’s a stupid, narrow way of seeing the world, and it does a lot of harm in institutionalizing wealth, privilege, homogeneity, and entitlement among the (remaining) top media outlets — not only at the outlets themselves, but in the kinds of stories that get covered and the distorted image of the country it helps paint.

  • Doesn’t help that if you do get the internship, it’ll probably be unpaid or underpaid, and the most prestigious internships at national publications are concentrated in places like New York or DC, where you can’t live unless you’re already from there or your family can afford to help put you up.

  • I'm so delighted that the hard work and determination of these investigative student journalists is getting recognized and shared so widely! Don't underestimate the focus and courage that it took to do what they did here. So proud of them!

  • It is not uncommon today that someone wants to strip people of the agency over their own lives, their own choices, their own responsibilities, and their own fate. You probably won’t get this opportunity because you didn’t attend X university, and because you weren’t born with Y advantage you probably

    It is not uncommon today that someone wants to strip people of the agency over their own lives, their own choices, their own responsibilities, and their own fate. You probably won’t get this opportunity because you didn’t attend X university, and because you weren’t born with Y advantage you probably will never see the light of day in Z field.

    You can go forth and accept a systematic selectivity that determines yours and everyone’s else’s fate; passively consenting that someone else will determine what you’re capable of, and ultimately surrendering your agency. Or you can embrace your freedom of choice, accept the responsibility of their outcomes, determine your level of ambition, putting the full weight of your talent as well as relentless work to achieve what you consider to be success.

    It boils down to one simple idea: Who are you willing to be the master of your own fate?

  • This isn’t different from any other highly-sought after industry. Venture capital hires only from elite schools, finance ditto....

  • A long time ago when newsweekly magazine were relevant, I landed an internship in one of the publication's San Francisco bureau. The bureau chief at the time was very up front. She chose me because unlike all the other candidates sent to her, I attended a public university, had been a college dropout

    A long time ago when newsweekly magazine were relevant, I landed an internship in one of the publication's San Francisco bureau. The bureau chief at the time was very up front. She chose me because unlike all the other candidates sent to her, I attended a public university, had been a college dropout for five years before going back to school, and I was, in her words, "interesting. You have a life." It helped launch a career that I love, but as this story shows, not a lot has changed in the last three decades. There is no meritocracy, and even if you have the skills and commitment, the elite, like all social groups, pull from their own class. A few years later, while working at aforementioned Magazine's New York office, my junior colleagues and I watched as the Editor in Chief quite literally hired a senior editor, barely graduated from an Ivy League college whom he had met that summer on a cruise on the Nile. I'm not saying I'm bitter; I'm bemused that people are shocked this is still a thing.

  • Maybe they need to develop a diversity (of thought) plan?

  • Yeah, that’s what I was initially told as well. Turns out my degree didn’t really mean anything, and it still took a full year to find a job that pays just above minimum wage here in NY. Experience definitely means more — it’s just unfortunate that it’s still so difficult to even get a foot in the door to get that experience.

  • Admission scandals at elite universities not withstanding, hight concentration of similar people at one Place, ie monoculture, spells the death for many organisations. Just look at Cameron x Osborne x Johnson old boys club and Brexit. What William Deresiwicz calls “excellent sheep.” I am sure Theodore

    Admission scandals at elite universities not withstanding, hight concentration of similar people at one Place, ie monoculture, spells the death for many organisations. Just look at Cameron x Osborne x Johnson old boys club and Brexit. What William Deresiwicz calls “excellent sheep.” I am sure Theodore Kim’s tweets, which I find comical and borderline tragic, do not reflect NYT’s overall diversity and inclusivity. Professionalisation of journalism is always good, but can be over-engineered particularly at j schools and other ivory towers. I have a journalism degree (disqualified for the internship no doubt because it is a British degree), but if I could turn back time I would study something else, classics perhaps or accounting/law if I wanted to cover business/politics. Reporting etc. can be learned on the job.