Monday, March 20, 2017

How did the press develop a top quartile worldview?

Admittedly, it is always dangerous going to Business Insider for a representative anecdote, but this is a conversation we've been having for a long time. You can find plenty of examples in this blog, in the Monkey Cage, and in the currently dormant food blog.

Pretty much everywhere you look, journalists tend to describe things from the implicit point of view of the well-off and well-connected. This has been particularly striking when the supposed purpose of the article is advising people on how to get by on a limited budget.

Over at Lawyers Guns and Money, DJ W points out a perfect example from a Business Insider article titled "How one 31-year-old paid off $220,000 in student loans in 3 years." [as excerpted by LGM]

    She had toyed with the idea of moving back in with her parents to save on rent, and when her father had a stroke in 2013, she knew it was time to make the transition.

    Back home in Joliet, Illinois, Horton took a job as an operations manager at the nonprofit her mother runs. 


    Horton’s mother gave the couple a condo that she had purchased at an auction for $13,000 as a wedding gift. It became crucial in wiping away the hefty student-loan tab.

    Horton and her husband lived in the condo for three months, but then they decided to move in with her grandparents down the street and started renting out the condo to bring in extra income.

    When Horton’s grandparents moved south, she returned to her parents’ house, refusing to live in one of her rental properties because they were bringing in extra income.

    To anyone who feels overwhelmed by the prospect of taking on student loans — or paying back any debt they’ve incurred — Horton has a simple message: “I just want them to feel empowered that they can pay if off. If I can do it, anybody can.“

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me of a Russell Baker talk I heard ages ago but haven't thought about much since. It would have been the early to mid '90s. I went assuming I'd hear a bunch of jokes. Instead he complained that things had changed drastically from the blue collar days of reporting: the press became "the media"; reporters became journalists; writers thought of their work as a "profession" instead of a job.

    I didn't think it was a bad talk at the time but I certainly didn't appreciate it as at least a bit prescient. But here we are today.