How Four of Journalism’s All-Stars Got to Where They Are

From a post on headlined “My career path: How some of journalism’s all-stars got where they are”:

Mary Norris
Copy editor at The New Yorker for more than 30 years, author

  • Tried and failed to be a waitress twice, and was fired from both jobs after two days and two weeks, respectively.
  • After college, worked for a costume company and then drove a milk truck, the “best job I ever had.”
  • Landed an entry-level position at The New Yorker in its editorial library and steadily moved up the ranks, working at the magazine on and off for more than 30 years.

Lydia Polgreen
Editor in chief of HuffPost

  • First job was at 14, working at a taco place named Taco John’s, with memorable Mexican-spiced tater tots.
  • After college, took an unpaid editorial internship at Washington Monthly and waitressed at night at a Malaysian restaurant.
  • Took a “very traditional” path, moving from small to large papers and eventually to The New York Times in 2002. Left to helm HuffPost in December 2016.

Pamela Colloff
Senior reporter at ProPublica and writer at large at The New York Times Magazine

  • Had two internships in college, at SPIN and The Village Voice.
  • After graduating, took a spontaneous road trip to Austin, Texas, and ended up spending three years waiting tables during the day and freelancing at night.
  • Hired by Texas Monthly as a staff writer at 25, and stayed at the magazine for 20 years, until March 2017, taking a dual role at The New York Times Magazine and ProPublica, the first of its kind.

Jenni Monet
Freelance journalist

  • Worked at the Cherokee Nation Bingo Hall, before it became a full-blown casino. Dressed in a tuxedo-like uniform, ended up being so bad at the job that “the managers thought I was stealing money from the bingo hall. Turns out, I was just really bad at fast math.”
  • Worked through undergrad with several jobs, including one as a demo ski technician at a resort in the winter, and another as a reservationist with the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum in the summer. Also had stints as a cocktail waitress, hardware store employee, and gymnastics instructor (having been an all-American cheerleader in high school).
  • Has reported in Albuquerque, Durango, Tulsa, Alaska, Qatar, and New York City, where has also worked for local broadcast stations, Public Radio International, and Al Jazeera America.

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