So this one time at a journalism conference…
Heather Bryant

It’s remarkable how “journalism” has become an upper-middle and upper class occupation over the past century, and especially since the 1960s. As recently as the 1950s, most newspaper reporters (they didn’t usually call themselves ‘journalists’ then) came from blue collar backgrounds, and few of the had college degrees. H.L. Mencken lamented the beginnings of the change in the background of reporters as far back as the 1920s, but even then reporters often started out on the grittiest beats on city papers or on rural or regional papers; not moving on to important or national papers until decades of proving themselves and their competence. They reported on the actual life of America because they knew that life, lived that life, and aspired to no more than that life. There were ‘society’ reporters and even ‘society’ papers, but the bulk of journalism focused on the events in American life that affected ordinary Americans of all classes.

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