flickr: Karen Eliot
A young business journalist has walked away from her career—the career she says she’d wanted for years.
We’re not sure.
She says it’s because journalism doesn’t offer a career path anymore.
We’ll let you judge for yourself.
Here’s the 30-second version, posted without comment:
I was clicking annoyedly through stories on a blog that publishes gossip about the publishing industry, frustrated that I’d read the most interesting stories already. My phone rang. I looked at the caller ID: Unknown Number. They can leave a message, I thought, and clicked over to Facebook…
….[My boss] stared at his notebook as his new boss gave me two choices: I could cancel my trip home the following week and work extra hard for the next two weeks to prove to them my job was not redundant, or I could quit that day and be paid for my time without working.
…I thought I could leave college, become part of journalism and change it. I wanted to be a managing editor.
To be a managing editor of a news organization, you need to be in the business awhile. You need to start somewhere, as a reporter or copy editor, perhaps, and you need to work for a long time, slowly working your way through the system and getting promoted until one day, you are in charge. In the two years following college, I worked at three news organizations. The same thing happened at all three: I went in excited and ready to work. And within months I lost all my fire and settled into posture-checking and website-reading. As far as I can tell, the whole middle section of the path to being a managing editor is missing. Those reporters and editors are being laid off and forced back out into the job market, which means they’re leaving journalism for good. It makes you wonder why you’re doing what you do: If this road leads nowhere, why am I on it?
That’s one opening for another young journo, anyway.