“Today the goals are different”: the media’s lost generation?

“The media business has always been a deeply competitive bastion of ambition; yet today’s journalists—including both those sidelined by layoffs and those still clinging desperately their workplace desks—have been left to wonder whether the very idea of ambition makes sense anymore.”

New York City journalist Lesley M.M. Blume recently wrote about the changing notion of career trajectory in Slate’s The Big Money. When Matt Drudge and Ariana Huffington have the “prestige jobs” because they “just did it,” and the big magazines, newspapers and networks are not hiring new talent anymore, what happens to the old idea of moving up the ladder from editorial assistant to editor-in-chief or from desk assistant to senior producer?

Blume’s article continues:

“As the traditional media model buckles, the accompanying iconography is changing as well. Budding editors used to strive to be the next Anna Wintour, Graydon Carter, or Jann Wenner; or perhaps their aspirations centered on becoming the next Amanpour or Jennings. If you were really old-school, your hero of choice might have been Bob Woodward or even Edward Murrow.

In today’s news business, Arianna Huffington and Matt Drudge both have prestige jobs,” says Dan Abrams, a legal correspondent for NBC and CEO of recently founded media-strategy-firm Abrams Research. “They have created entities without anyone tapping them to do it; they just did it. The future kingmakers will be more entrepreneurial.”

(Hat tip to @kimpittaway)