Journalism

Study Ranks Newspaper Reporter as ‘Worst Job’ of 2016

Newspaper reporter came out in last place in the 2016 CareerCast study of jobs.

What’s the worst job you could have?

CareerCast.com conducted a survey and found out being a newspaper reporter fits that bill quite well.

The site points to a “gradual decline” in print publications since about 2000 has become a “steep downturn” for the past decade:

Publications folding mean far fewer job prospects, and declining ad revenue means unfavorable pay for those in the Fourth Estate.

The “Fourth Estate” is an old term used most often to refer to the media in general, but often particularly print media. It dates back to the late 18th century and was attributed to Edmund Burke, who was said to have used the term in a parliamentary debate in 1787 on the opening up of press reporting of the House of Commons of Great Britain. The other “three estates” have typically included the clergy, nobility and the “commoners” in Old World society.

While the newspaper industry has struggled over the years amid declining subscriptions and rising production costs of printing a daily publication, smart newspaper companies have been working to shift their focus to their digital properties, beefing up their websites, building apps and boosting their social media presence.

There will come a day — and you can argue to your heart’s content how long it’ll actually take — before the classic printed daily paper disappears. But there’ll always be a need for news, and the newspaper companies that survive will simply evolving their operations to a digital-only product.

I was a newspaper reporter for my high school newspaper, which barely counts at all; these days, I manage a television news website, which is similar to being a newspaper reporter since web stories are typically longer and more detailed than broadcast stories.

Sure, there can be long hours and a great deal of stress from time to time when breaking news happens.

But I could easily come up with plenty of jobs I would consider much worse than journalism.

Check out the full list here.

Being a logger, for example, which comes in at 199th place, would be miles further down the list than newspaper reporter in my book. No offense to loggers, but that’s just not a cup of tea in which I have any interest.

Being a statistician, which ranks as the second best job, would bore me beyond words. At 20th place is petroleum engineer, a person who develops ways to find and extract oil and gas. It seems like that would be a limited job, too, although I’m sure the pay is better than that of a newspaper reporter, assuming you can find work in that industry.

It’s worth noting, by the way, that broadcaster falls only two points above newspaper reporter at 198th place.

The income for both, listed at around the $37,000-mark, is a lot lower than some of the jobs higher up the list, which surely contributes to the lower rankings.

No industry I can think of is identical to the way that industry operated 100 years ago — if it was even around that far back. The key to any industry is rolling with the punches and finding your niche within that industry as changes come.

When I was in college, it was made blatantly clear that you don’t go into the journalism field to get rich. Yet there were still colleagues of mine who seemed genuinely shocked when they received their first paycheck.

I never understood that. Sure, I’d have loved to make more than the $13,000 my first full-time job in the business paid. But I was getting a check, had insurance, and could afford to pay my bills. What’s more, I was learning my craft.

If you love telling stories and you love the work you do, you find ways to be happy with where you are on the money side of things. And as with any career, if you strive to do the best work you can and continue to look for opportunities to improve, you have more opportunities.

If you’re considering a career in journalism, don’t let the rankings disturb you. It won’t pay what a job as a neurosurgeon might, but stay dedicated to your job and you’ll find different kinds of rewards.

Check out the full list…is your career listed, and if so, how did it rank?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.