Perhaps the [journalism] employment problem will solve itself. “People are entranced with an image of the journalist as a social activist,” says 19-year-old Deborah Bergman-Brown, managing editor of the Temple News. “They don’t realize that investigative reporting involves poring over court records, tracing checks and doing lots of digging and research. They want to call someone up, get a big leak, and have the story of the year.” A taste of real life in the city room inevitably will send some romantics fleeing to less arduous callings.
Deborah Brown, who is now a lawyer in Sacramento, tells me she doesn’t remember the Newsweek piece, but says “I was actually interviewed for a couple of articles about the journalism school explosion” while at Temple. She decided to leave newspapers “when Hearst announced it was losing $1 million a week on the San Francisco Chronicle,” where she was a zones editor in the early 2000s. Mike Walcher, also quoted in the piece, is at WINK News in Fort Myers, Fl.