American journalism has long maintained a sort of egalitarian myth about itself. While our country’s free press requires no formal training or licensing, an honest history of the profession shows very distinct hierarchies, from the vaunted Runyonesque blue-collar beat reporter to legendary insiders, like Washington uber-columnist Scotty Reston, who act as handmaidens to the powerful. And it is no coincidence that arguably the nation’s two preeminent newspapers—the New York Times and Wall Street Journal—stand apart as the most rarefied of perches in our nation’s news ecosystem. It’s at these outlets that these class distinctions are the most glaring—and most problematic. Read more.
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