Lesley M. M. Blume, writing at The Big Money yesterday, tried to tackle the question of the future of media. It’s not pretty. We all know the old modelsstarting at the bottom, as an editorial assistant or gofer and working your way up to editor or senior producerare broken. But Blume argues it’s worse than that. She says even new-media career ladders aren’t that stable: “For the last decade or so, many young journalists cut their teeth at online sites and then leapfrogged into prestigious positions at magazines and networks…Yet what happens to this trajectory when the ABCs and New Yorks of the world simply aren’t hiring fresh talent, no matter where it comes from?”
Most journalists interviewed for Blume’s piece, instead of expressing concrete goals (“I want to be editor in chief of X section of X paper”), had more broad views: “I’d just like to be a published writer,” “I’d like to be paid to be a writer in some way,” or “I want to be a journalist in whatever form that takes down the line.”
Except for one. Blume asked Nylon magazine’s digital director Faran Krentcil where she’d be in 20 years. The response? “I’ll be an editor in chief.”
Of what, Blume inquired.
“When I say I’ll be an editor in chief, it won’t be that you’re an editor in chief of a magazine or a Web site,” she explains, almost exasperated by the question. “It’ll be, you’re the editor in chief of this title. And under the title lives this point of view, this sound, this excitement. The definition of magazine will change. Now it’s 100 pages of pretty paper. In the future, your magazine will be that paper, but also digital content that has the same voice, the video component. It will be more.”
Great, we say. But show us the money.