Media traineeships, cadetships as they're sometimes called, aren't what they used to be. Traditionally a way for young bright things to get started in journalism, they've largely morphed into a way for established journalists to, after a gruelling process of elimination, enter the nation's most prestigious newsrooms. In 2001, seven of eight trainees at The Age celebrated their 21st birthdays in their first year with Fairfax. Now, most trainees are 25 or 26, and have used the intervening years to get well and truly started in the industry.