Paper over it

By | December 1, 2012

Reading this really well-done article about the newspaper strike of 1962-1963, and it struck me how much more difficult and expensive getting anywhere in life has become.

The Times newsroom, on West 43rd Street, was a bustling, self-contained universe. The managing editor, Turner Cat­ledge, would sometimes stand outside his office with binoculars, scanning the immense workspace. The city editor used a loudspeaker to summon dozens of clean-cut reporters—many with college degrees!—to a breaking story.

Now, if you don’t have a degree from an Ivy you stand very little chance of getting a job at the New York Times or any other major newspaper for that matter.

Not sure why this is. Risk aversion? Surely the best journalists don’t come from Ivies only.

I did photojournalism for five years. I know a little about it. From what I’ve seen, I’m a better writer than many of those Ivy League-educated standard issue journalists and I have no degree in anything.

I don’t have any real idea why the entry-level requirements in so many fields are so senselessly high now. I’ve often seen receptionist jobs that require a bachelor’s degree, and even a few that request a master’s.

No idea why on any of this.