Be a journalist! Work for at least several more years!

journo65.jpgI guess the Studies in Crap blog did a valuable service in unearthing "Your Career in Journalism," a paperback from the days when you could use the words "career" and "journalism" in the same sentence without doubling over in wheezy, painful laughter. But in the wake of yesterday's news about Newsweek, where I started my career, M.L. Stein's ode to the permanence, security and prestige of the business takes on a distinctly elegiac tone. It seems hard to believe that anybody could ever write with a straight face sentences like these, let alone write them as recently as 1965:

If you are interested in public service and you can measure up to journalism's obligations and standards, there's a job on a newspaper for you.

and

If you are a college graduate in journalism, you may land a job before you even leave the campus.

There are lots of nuggets like this to enjoy in blogger Alan Scherstuhl's post, like Stein's breezy assertion that The story that a reporter worried and sweated over will be read by thousands and perhaps millions of people who will be informed, enlightened or amused. ... He has prestige and influence that most persons can never hope to attain. But please note that when I say "enjoy" I mean "sit in a corner and rock gently back and forth and cry."