Monday, April 27, 2015

Really, is being a newspaper reporter that terrible a job?

It appears so. Reporter Barbara Marshall at the QuickPulse blog has this story titled, "What’s the worst job in the country? Mine.":
     Newspaper reporter was ranked dead last of 200 jobs by CareerCast [emphasis added], an online job search site that ranks the nation’s best and worst jobs.
     Talk about ink-stained wretches.
     We’re below lumberjacks (#199) in terms of employment prospects and pay.
     In terms of stress, we’ve got it worse than enlisted military personnel (#198.)
     Which is perplexing since my work rarely requires dangerous power tools and I’ve only fired a gun twice on the job (one of those was a .22 gauge skeet gun.)
     What I do ranks lower than prison guards (#194), taxi drivers, mail carriers (#191) and firefighters (#192.)
     Broadcasters (#196) and photojournalists (#195) are only slightly better off, according to the Carlsbad, CA-based jobs site.
     I imagined it was embarrassed laughter I heard from Tony Lee of CareerCast when I called him.
     As a former newspaper journalist himself, he said he felt terrible about relegating his former co-workers to the basement but, he said, data doesn’t lie.
     “Some of the things we look at include how income among newspaper reporters has fallen and is projected to continue to fall,” Lee said. “It’s also one of the very few jobs projected to have reduced job growth.”
Of course, this study concerns newspaper journalists with standards. If you don't have standards, or have very low journalistic standards, then there still are opportunities out there.

It's interesting to note that Barbara Marshall's story appeared as digital content and never made it to the print edition of the paper. Too bad, really. It's a clever piece of writing and think many people would enjoy reading it in print. Here is how she ends her article:
     But, as the late, brilliant New York Times reporter David Carr wrote in 2009, as journalism was struggling in the face of layoffs and digital reinvention: “It’s a tough time to be a journalist but, hey, it beats working for a living.”
     It may be the worst job, but on some days, it’s also the best.