Tuesday, March 28, 2006

"The Hiring Bias: Liberal Begets Liberal"

Kurtz says, "conservatives don't apply." His predecessors used to say, "we don't get any qualified blacks or women."

Nathan Goulding at "Media Blog" says:

Howard Kurtz's column today raises interesting questions about newspapers hiring journalists from liberal publications:

How many people from National Review, Weekly Standard or American Spectator have applied for reporting jobs at the NYT or WP?

My sense is this: Young people who go to the New Republic or Washington Monthly do so because it's a way to break into the business, and they then try to move up to bigger newspapers or magazines. At the Post or Times, they would generally be assigned to unglamorous metro jobs, be required to prove themselves as reporters and writers and then try to climb the ladder.

But do people at NR and the Standard want to become "straight" reporters, or do they go to those magazines because they want to practice opinion journalism? I doubt that Rich Lowry or Tucker Carlson (to take two who joined their respective magazines at a young age) aspired to cover Prince George's County for The Post. They put themselves on a punditry path. And if I'm right about that, how are MSM organizations supposed to recruit from such magazines?

I asked Cliff May, an employee of the NYT for about ten years during the '80s, if he could give his thoughts on the issue. He responded by saying this:

There were just a few conservatives working at the [NYT] in those days but they generally knew enough to stay in the closet. Liberals, by contrast, could safely flaunt their orientation.

It's the perception that MSM outlets are hostile to non-liberals that stops conservative journalists from signing up with their liberal peers — or counterparts. It's a self-reinforcing bias.


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