Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

The sad state of journalism

A few days ago I received an e-mail from an upcoming college graduate with dreams of becoming a print journalist. He wrote seeking advice—how should I enter the field? What’s the best approach? Do you know anyone? Etc …
My advice: Take a year and explore Europe.
I mean it. I hate that I wrote it, but I meant it. Never, in my 15 years in the business, have I ever seen anything like this. Literally speaking, nobody is hiring. Nobody. Not the big papers, not the small papers, not the good magazines, not the crappy magazines. Newspapers are going out of business, magazines are lacking advertising … it’s just ludicrous.
So, were I 22 once again, I honestly would take a year and explore. Find a job washing elephants in Rome. Work as a waitress in Paris. Babysit kids in Madrid, join a comedy troupe in London, peddle soda in Berlin. Just go out there … take in the world—then come back and join the unemployed.