Former 'Vogue' Staffer's Woes Prompt Age-Old Question: Is Publishing More Racist? Or Classist?

Sure, as the fashion mag world can testify: racism still exists. But a former Vogue staffer's call into a public radio show yesterday (subject: how difficult it is to make an living in this town in industries other than banking/freeloading/famewhoring) prompted us to wonder, is it racism that's the bigger problem? Or classism? After all, while whites have an easier time with their hair, they don't get to be tokens the way cute black girls with tastefully done extensions can. But as "Linda," a black 25-year-old Brooklyn resident attested, at the end of the day we all have to eat (controlled portions), and that's a lot easier if you're not, you know, poor.

Thank you. Um, yeah, I'm 25 years old. I'm a 25 year old black woman who chose to leave the new york workplace and go back to school because I found it too frustrating I was in journalism and I was at the 'Times' Magazine um, and at 'Vogue' and someone mentioned people coming in from other states and seeking their fortune or their careers, uh, in New York and my cohorts at 'Vogue' were definitely of that type but they were able to work for free or next to nothing because the salaries that journalism pays aren't paying for their rent. They would get funding from family or whatnot and I was not of that, 'ilk', and so I got too frustrated and had to leave.
Bravo, Linda! With just one quibble. Vogue isn't really, uh, "journalism", nor is "journalism" a career synonymous with "fortune" (or even, uh, much of a "career,") nor is New York a place much "journalism" gets made these days (trust us!). But kudos to you for realizing that it is still the best town in which to subsist on peanut butter and lager while grousing about your non-lucrative non-career in non-journalism.

She Works Hard For The Money [WNYC]