I sweep onto the blog once again to discuss a phenomenon I find deeply troubling. The phenomenon is the evolution of the broadsheet journalist into the makeshift dystopian author.
I cannot help but notice that broadsheet journalists seem to exceptionally enjoy talking about plight that they are personally unaffected by. I understand that news must always be delivered with a realism that is often gritty but I cannot help but become somewhat angry with the fraught and astoundingly pointless columns that even student fave lefty stalwarts such as “The Independent” and “The Guardian” are coming out with in our ever-so-bleak times.
As i’m leaving university in a year, I am growing increasingly fatigued with the overwhelming number of arse-clenchingly depressing articles in the media about the future of graduates. I am not here to scapegoat, but I will say that this particular post was prompted by my frustration with an article in today’s Guardian entitled “The graduates of 2012 will survive only in the cracks of our economy” by 52 year old (you’ll understand the importance of this later) Newsnight Economics editor, Paul Mason. He emotively details a large host of facts that basically every single current student and graduate is already painfully aware of and re-iterates it for yet another time so we can all be reminded of how absolutely ghastly everything is, whilst being assured that everything is okay, because we have the deepest sympathies of well-meaning oldies.
Whilst I understand that these journalists feel the need to toil with the often disheartening situation that my generation find themselves in, I do not appreciate being bombarded by these stories, especially as the authors are almost always baby boomers in a cushy job. It’s especially irritating in that truly nothing is achieved by publishing them. The audience are already clued-up and in full resigned agreement. This is why the media are constantly falling into the “opposition party trap”, in which they consistently complain and make the world seem as head-wreckingly bleak as they possibly can whilst proposing precisely no alternatives, nor using their comfortable positions of power to do anything about it.
Now, I do not advocate living in ignorance of what is going on but I feel as though frequent regurgitation of the problems we all know we face is helping nobody. I see many young graduates and students in the Twittersphere, linking to articles such as this and heaping praise upon the authors. I personally cannot relate to whatever perverse enjoyment these people feel upon reading these things. I find them to be unhelpful and soul-destroying. Perhaps those young people enthralled by them have become very disillusioned, something that is entirely understandable. And yet it’s something I find threatening to encapsulate me every time I lay my eyes upon another one of these pieces. I can only imagine it only entrenches those that are firmly in it’s stranglehold. What do we to gain from dwelling in it and why do we laud those assuring us we are doomed?
However, i’m not here to lay into those that find themselves in difficulty but rather those feeling the need to constantly drone on about it in the media. I want to know what older journalists gain from mercilessly stamping across the few shreds of optimism that my generation have left. I am unsure if they know what it feels like to be told that your future is hopeless before you even have a chance to start. The sympathetic tones in which the broadsheets do it almost irritate me even more because their bleeding-heart rhetoric is accompanied by so little action.
Now, readers may call this blog pathetic in it’s idealism but I encourage you to let me explain. People reading this that know me personally will be aware that I can frequently found dousing myself with buckets of my own pessimism. I am not an ignorant person, nor am I a dazed optimist. My message is simply thus: I am sorely aware of the realities of being a graduate at the moment. So is every single person collecting that scroll and throwing up that mortarboard. We’d all really appreciate it if you older, privileged journo types would calm it down with the constant reminders, yeah?