Adults love to ask kids what they want to be when they grow up. When my niece was 4-years-old, she would answer in all seriousness, "fairy princess." I wish I had thought of that.
Last year, El Segundo, CA-based toy maker Mattel surveyed girls around the world to find out which job they wanted 2010's I Can Be... Barbie to portray. So, in her 125th career choice, Barbie will be suiting up as (drum roll, please) -- a journalist. Or perhaps, more specifically, a News Anchor. Look out Katie Couric. The doll's tag line: "A flair for journalism -- and power pink!"
Unfortunately, there might be more openings for an entry-level fairy princess.
Since Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel don't cover the latest news from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the girls had no way of knowing that in 2008 there were only 8,000 news anchors employed in the U.S., and that those numbers are expected to decline through 2018. Sheesh.
One thing Barbie does not pretend to be is a career coach. In the company's own words, "Barbie is the world's only brand that allows girls to imagine themselves as a mermaid to a movie star, a fairy to a fashionista..." You know, once "mermaid" is on the table, why not add "news anchor." It could happen. Especially, if you look like Barbie.
For the rest of us, Blogger Barbie or perhaps, Fancy Freelance Barbie might work.
Wisely, however, the girls avoided print journalism. An industry that has lost 13,500 jobs since 2007 according to the American Society of News Editors (ASNE). Maybe a top notch resume, a list of contacts and a "will write for food" sign could be sold separately.
In a similarly dark mood, online resource, Gawker, presented the 2010 Gawker's Guide to Journalism "for aspiring journalists and other masochists."
Ambitious young girls with a penchant for pink and Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, are not as pessimistic (or bitter). In fact, during an address at the All Things Digital conference, Jobs said, "One of my beliefs, very strongly, is that any democracy depends on a free, healthy press." He continued, "I believe people are willing to pay for content. I believe in media, and in news content."
And if that well-balanced, accurate and newsworthy coverage happens to be dispensed by someone wearing the cutest pair of pink stacked heels with bows, who are we to judge? You go girls, the future of world wide news and information is in your perfectly-manicured hands. But you may want to rethink that bustier.
News Anchor Barbie will be sold for $12.99 this holiday season and is currently available for pre-order exclusively at MattelShop. Good night, and good luck.
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