Harvard Students Now Embarassed To Say They Want To Go Into Journalism

This story was written by Joseph Tartakoff.
The Harvard Crimson has a distinguished place in American journalism the main hallway at Harvard College's student newspaper is lined with photos of the 12 alums who went on to win Pulitzer Prizes. So students there are excited about the challenges of reinventing the business for the internet era, right? Well, not exactly.

A few highlights from a Bloomberg piece about life at the Crimson these days:

Some newspaper recruiters, instead of wooing Harvard students, have nudged them toward other professions: "Newspaper recruiters that came to the Crimson's job fair encouraged students to look at other fields," Joshua Kearney, 21, a junior arts editor from Dennis Township, New Jersey, told Bloomberg.

And what happened to the resumes and clips of the students that did apply? Kearney, 21, also told Bloomberg that: "After the event, work samples the students had given the recruiters were found in the trash."

Students are embarrassed to say they want to be reporters: "Undergraduates considering journalism avoid mentioning it in front of classmates, wanting to avoid expressions of concern, if not ridicule," Abigail Phillip, 20, a junior editor from Upper Marlboro, Md., told Bloomberg. "I tell my parents, 'I'll do this for two years and I'll go to law school, I promise.'"

(Full disclosure: I was an editor at The Harvard Crimson until I graduated in 2007, when things were perhaps somewhat brighter)


By Joseph Tartakoff

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