what if we stopped hazing the industry newbies

A lot of stellar writing about the industry reckoning that’s been a’roiling all month around the kind of inequality that’s laid bare every time management appears on Zoom aglow with a certain slant of Southampton light as well as the inextricable tie between newsrooms who fail their Black employees and therefore Black communities (j-schools, if you’re still going to spend all first semester haranguing about “objectivity,” put Wesley Lowery’s op-ed on the syllabus, stat). But in light of the tweet that launched a million indignant thinkpieces/existential spirals…

...it’s especially important to also read Connie Wang’s recent piece in Refinery29: The “Grateful To Be Here” Generation Has Some Apologizing To Do, and consider, too, the generational divides that have made a tradition out of screwing over young talent.

I read this and thought for a long time about the extremely “millennial” advice that my peers and I got coming into the workforce around 2015 (pay your dues, don’t rock the boat, be careful who you talk to, but also “we’re all family here” l o l) , and it’s extremely worth noting how collective actions, like unionizing, are really taking off just as Gen Z hits the work force. Coincidence? According to Wang, definitely not: 

The younger generation, I told him, sees problems as networks — the ways in which our culture is tied to our economy which is tied to geopolitical forces, the environment, and random circumstance. When they see a problem, they are more likely to question the entire system. My generation had recognized the same problems, but our solutions relied on navigating these issues in isolation: Want a raise? Get another job offer. Want healthcare? Find work at a bigger company. 

i.e., we’re starting to wake up to the fact that we don’t have to go at all this on our own; instead, what if we threw that fratty industry hazing mentality out the window and just…helped make things better for everyone?


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