Should we be worried that The New York Times, Newsweek and The Washington Post are buying out their old seasoned writers and leaving behind a bunch of young reporters who possibly don't know what they're doing? "No!" says Jack Shafer. According to Slate, these voluntary buyouts (also known as "If we pay you a large sum of money, would you please leave already?") are going to end up revitalizing journalism.
See, when writers stay in their jobs for decades, the papers lose their freshness and stop innovating. In the meantime, talented young reporters are having a hard time getting hired for top positions because no one ever leaves (sort of like when you're following in the car behind an old person and they're weaving all over the road and you can't get around them).
That's right — the boomer ceiling has been keeping us down, man! After all, if Michael Jordan had never left, there wouldn't have been room for Lebron James (we're pretending that we watch sports today). Besides stifling innovation, these old sea dogs of journalism also cost news organizations shitloads of money with their overinflated salaries. Young reporters, on the other hand, come cheap.
Recently, New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse
accepted a $300,000 farewell package and Newsweek's David Ansen and David Gates have taken deals as well. But it's not all "move bitch, get out the way"! Most of these graybeards wind up with a nice parting gift in the form of jobs in academia (Greenhouse is headed to Yale Law).
Shafer adds: "While I hold the 61-year-old Greenhouse in great esteem and will miss her coverage, it's worth noting that she had covered the Supremes for nearly 30 years. Disco was still big when she took the assignment. Starsky and Hutch was on television."
Laugh all you want but in 40 years, they'll be judging us for hip-hop trance mixes and Ghost Whisperer.