The professional classes then colonise that former craft:
But then who am I to criticise Stephenson when journalism is as much of a rich kids’ game? Lindsey Macmillan of the Institute of Education found that journalists used to come from families 6% better off than average, whereas now they come from homes that are 42% richer. Indeed, British journalists, the supposed tribunes of the people, now hail from wealthier backgrounds than, er, bankers, an awkward fact that ought to cause embarrassment all round. I look at my younger self today and wonder if he could become a journalist on a serious newspaper. My parents were teachers. They were comfortably off by the standards of 1980s Manchester, but they could never have afforded to rent me rooms in London and cover my expenses while I went from internship to internship. They had to look after my sisters as much as anything else.
When the standard method of entry was a lowly paid couple of years on a local or regional to be followed, maybe, by a climb up to the nationals then that “right background” didn’t make a difference. When acting meant living on sixpence (rather than the nothing of interning or “parts to gain exposure” ) for a couple of years and doing Rep then again, that sorting system of separating the sheep from the hams didn’t favour background.
Once these, and other such crafts, become professions then it’s obvious enough that those from the professional classes will try to colonise those former crafts.
Quite what we do about it is another matter. No one wants either Rep or local newspapers any more and there’s no point in running them just as socially equitable training grounds.
We could say much the same about being a solicitor or an accountant. Many a working class boy has made good by doing their articles while working in the past. Now it’s graduate only entry (in effect, if not in possibility) and once again the selection process favours background.