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Harvard's Prestigious NiemanLab Features Journalism Professor's Predictions for 2022  

Photo of Professor Matthew PressmanAssistant Professor of Journalism Matthew Pressman, Ph.D. has been selected among an international Who's Who of journalism and media influencers being featured in Harvard University's NiemanLab's annual journalism predictions around important issues facing the field in 2022.

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, established in 1938, administers the oldest fellowship program for journalists in the world and houses a dynamic set of initiatives to promote and elevate the standards of journalism and educate and support those poised to make important contributions to its future, explains its organizers. One of its journalism initiatives, NiemanLab is an online reporting enterprise focused on the future of news and innovation and has become a leading source of news about digital media for an international audience.

The NiemanLab's editorial staff states: "Each year, we ask some of the smartest people in journalism and media what they think is coming in the next 12 months. At the end of a trying 2021, here's what they had to say."

This is the third time Pressman was chosen to share his perspectives on the future state of journalism. He explored how journalism grapples with a social class problem among those covering today’s national issues.

He writes: "Journalists, especially at national news outlets, come disproportionately from well-off families, large metropolitan areas, and top-tier universities. This is a problem because people from such similar socioeconomic backgrounds often share the same cultural outlook and the same blind spots. Their prevalence at leading news organizations also fuels the perception that journalists are haughty elitists."

Pressman explained that more people are becoming aware of journalism's class problem and how it impacts coverage.

He shared, "Two new books — an academic study and a conservative polemic — emphasize the factors that prevent many people from less privileged backgrounds from working in news, suggesting that this may be a rare area of agreement for press critics across the political spectrum. A recent Wall Street Journal article about the high cost and low return of prestigious master’s degree programs in journalism launched countless Twitter threads decrying classism in hiring at top news outlets."

He posits how the profession and those making hiring decisions in newsrooms must become more open to aspiring journalists from diverse backgrounds as well as first-generation college graduates.

"To start, paying interns and entry-level staffers a living wage would help, so that those who can't rely on family members for financial support can pursue a career in news without falling deeper into debt. In addition, news outlets might consider actively recruiting journalists from socioeconomic backgrounds that differ from most of their staff."

Pressman teaches Writing for the Media, Contemporary Issues in Sports Journalism, Feature Writing, American Journalism, and the journalism senior seminar. His research focuses on journalistic values, the business of news, and the intersection between journalism and politics. He is the author of On Press: The Liberal Values That Shaped the News (Harvard University Press, 2018), which won the History Book Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and the PROSE Award from the Association of American Publishers. His next book will be a history of the New York Daily News.

Prior to his academic career, Pressman worked for eight years at Vanity Fair magazine, where he was an assistant editor and online columnist. In addition to publishing in academic journals, Pressman has written for TIME, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post.

Read the complete article in NiemanLab: Journalism grapples with its class problem (2021)

For his earlier NiemanLab article predictions, visit:

For more on his award-winning book, visit: On Press: The Liberal Values That Shaped the News

Categories: Arts and Culture

For more information, please contact:

  • Laurie Pine
  • (973) 378-2638
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