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A job listing from Harper's offering a substandard wage for an "assistant editor" exemplifies gatekeeping in the media industry; foreign policy on the podcast
Harper’s Magazine over the weekend posted a job listing for an assistant editor that was a perfect example of the way the media industry is set up for the comfortable classes.
The listing offers $40,000 a year for a position that must be based in New York City. As a salaried job, the rate is almost certain to require working over 40 hours a week, making the possibility of getting another job to help cover expenses essentially nil. And there’s a high probability that the work will increase while the pay does not: “The Assistant Editor may have opportunities to take on editorial responsibilities as he or she grows in the role.”
Adding insult to injury, Harper’s tweeted out the listing and tagged a number of groups including Writers of Color, Disabled Journalists, Study Hall, and more.
For a publication that rather self-importantly served as the home of the infamous “Harper’s Letter” to list a position that excludes struggling writers in the working class is, in fact, the definition of cancel culture.
Offering overwork for meager pay at a publication that is implicitly holding up the prestige of working there as the real hook means people who actually need to earn a living will look elsewhere.
It’s an example of anti-affirmative action; aimed at ensuring the only people who have a right to be heard are those who already do most of the talking.
It was a foreign policy focused week on the podcast.
On Monday, I talked to AJ+’s Sana Saeed about the way Tucker Carlson is being portrayed as an “anti-war” voice. We were joined by Media Matters for America researcher Nikki McCann Ramirez and author Jonathan Katz.
Then, on Thursday, Empire Files journalist Abby Martin came on to talk about Joe Biden’s foreign policy in a time of war.
This afternoon at 5pm EST, I’m joined by VICE’s Edward Ongweso, Jr. to talk about the crypto and NFT ads from the Super Bowl. The room will be live, call in with your questions and comments!
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