Sadly, “Journalism Isn’t For Journalists” will be a reoccurring segment on this site. This week, The Huffington Post is the latest media outlet to give a huge “FUCK YOU!” to journalists everywhere.
HuffPost has hired former NFL wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth as their newest politics fellow. Not a sports writer. Not a health and nutrition journalist, which I could justify if I absolutely had to. Nope. National security issues.
Stallworth has absolutely ZERO training as a journalist and has just as much experience. He has no experience in the world of politics and foreign policy. Not even in college, where he majored in Psychology, which is what you study when you know you’re going straight to the NFL and have no need to learn stuff. So how did he get the gig?
Stallworth came into HuffPost’s orbit via reporters Sabrina Siddiqui and Amanda Terkel who struck up a friendship based on his Twitter feed, and began meeting up with him to discuss journalism and politics. Grim contacted Stallworth in May when he heard he was interested in getting into journalism.
Some Twitter friends got him the job based on his interest in getting into journalism. I, too, have an interest in getting into journalism. Guess what I had to do…I WENT TO JOURNALISM SCHOOL! If Stallworth mentioned an interest in medicine, would a Twitter follower make him an intern at a hospital? What if he wanted to be a lawyer? Would a follower pass the bar exam for him? No, because we have checks and balances with those careers. I suggest a similar checks and balances with journalism jobs, because it is apparent that a degree and/or expertise on the subject have no bearing on who gets a job.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Stallworth has some incredible insight to the topic of national security. Let’s see if we can glean any information off his Twitter page:
Yup. This is the guy HuffPost deemed the most qualified—out of all the candidates—to write about NATIONAL FUCKING SECURITY!
Oh! He has turned the corner. Don’t give a shit. If his kneejerk reaction was “CONSPIRACY!” and it took him years of research to realize the obvious, he is not cutout for journalism. Stallworth has documented proof of being completely unable to sift through the facts at hand and report it accurately. Furthermore, he’ll be on strict deadlines. He won’t have time to spend months researching that the Holocaust and moon landing did in fact happen. This is why journalism should be left to journalists. They have the training and experience to accurately report information and leaving their biases and opinions out of their report. People do change within five years, but unless he got a journalism degree within the past five years, I cannot trust his ability to quickly analyze new information and report it. Hell, those 9/11 tweets were eight years after the fact! The only thing keeping me from crying is the possibility that HuffPost just made up a position for Stallworth for whatever reason.