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The 10 Worst Jobs of 2012: 5 - Newspaper Reporter

newspaper reporter

Covers newsworthy events for newspapers, magazines, and television news programs.

  • Overall Score: 1594.00
  • Income: $35,275.00

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Hacks and FOX news ruined it.

It used to be a job that was respected and admired. Not anymore.

great list!

Wish this job could have been ranked lower to keep the talented young guns from competing with me for work.

Love my job! Wouldn't trade it for anything...except maybe loads and loads of money, but then I'd probably start a blog!

New Media Journalism

The answer is that newspapers dropped the ball long ago when it was their job to teach the new generation about reading a paper.

It had to re-brand 20 years ago to make sure the new generation understood the satisfying feeling it is to read a paper.

The writing has been on the wall for quite some time.

Journalism is not a horrible job. Working at a newspaper is only because its a dying breed.

Its like working at Myspace.

But Journalism is great.
Its taking on a new look.
And that is still being shaped.
But the money is coming back.
But its online not in print.
Its NEW MEDIA, Mobile and Social.
Its The Huffington Post its

I brand the new generations of broadcast talent so I take it personally when you make a sweeping statement.
Don't quit.. Don't give up.
get your Html skills up,
because there is a virgin land of opportunities just waiting for you.
and become a new media journalist.

Try to be objective and fair

Try to be objective and fair; far too often whether in print or online is seems to be getting dirtier.Be a journalist not a tabloid reporter, please and thank you. Watch out for bad editors! Best of luck to all who wish to be good ethical journalists and the rest of you NO COMMENT!

I've got to agree that Journalism is a brutal career

I work as a Sports Writer for a 10,000 circulation daily paper in the Midwest, focusing on prep sports. Often people are like "Wow, what a great job." If they only knew.
Job features: Putrid hours, lousy pay (25K/year), ever present stress/deadlines, and the need to rely on people who don't care about you or your work in order to produce your work. (If I had a nickle for every time I had to hound a coach to call me back for a story I'd have a lot of nickles.)
Negative responses from the reading community outnumber positive responses 3-1 (I'm probably being generous here). A thick skin is a must.
Moral of the story: I've advised more than one aspiring journalist that they should look into a different future field. I am also doing the same, as I am extremely burnt out after 4 years as a journalist.

"In the end, it's all material"

Garrison Keillor said that, and it's true. Life's incidents are all stories. Anyone's story can be interesting, if well told.

About that college thing - I never finished college, mostly because I hated taking notes. Now I gleefully get writer's cramp. I feel like a warrior when the board of selectmen is two hours into a meeting that will end up twice that long, and I have to shake out my wrist to keep going. I love the narrow notebooks and always having a pen in my pocket.

I'm 59 years old and was a freelance writer for more than 26 years when I was offered a full-time job as a general assignment reporter for a community newspaper and website. That company folded in March, and less than a month later I was hired by a newspaper serving the next county south. A week into that job, the adrenaline is moving again, I've driven a good chunk of my 211 square-mile beat, and I've met an organic kimchee maker and a chief of police and talked with a television producer from Tennessee.

It's respectable work. I don't meet a lot of celebrities, but I've interviewed Bill McKibben and Matt Simmons, and I go places and talk to people, even in quiet little Lincoln County, Maine, that I never imagined existed.

I get paid to write, to be picky about my writing and to fact-check my own work. There is tremendous autonomy. I get paid to make interesting photographs, and I'm appreciated for my work by those who employ and supervise me, by those whose advertisements and subscriptions pay the bills, and by those who use the service without paying. It's enough to live on, with some careful thought and a little good fortune.

One more quote, this from Thomas Carlyle:
"Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness."

Shlomit Auciello, Rockland Maine

I've travelled

Had coffee with heads of state, collected coins from four and five star military leaders, covered gruesome car accidents, wept after interviewing mothers of fallen soldiers and Marines, saw three New Year babies, covered graduations, been yelled at by two governors, scolded by chiefs of staff, challenged (and won) an attorney general, forced a government to provide safe buses for students and bus drivers, helped empower people who didnt think they had a right to a voice in their government. So yeah, the salary could have been better. But in the fewer than 10 years I've been doing this it's been an adventure!

No surprise

I was a newspaper journalist for 11 years. Two newspapers shut down on me in two years and now I cannot find another journalism job to save my life. Even worse -- no one is looking for the skills I have. They see my resume and then ask me why I am even applying for the job they are offering, since it's outside of my range. Time for a new profession.

Makes sense, but

There's logic to this, however if you're aiming to be the best, which you always should, then journalism can be an amazing profession. I've seen amazing places, travelled all over the world, don't earn badly at all and feel truly rewarded every day of my life. Couldn't have wished for more...


I'm a journalist, and yes: the pay sucks, and the stress is high. But I love my job. I'm never bored, and feel like I have a chance at making a difference.

My advice to budding

My advice to budding journalists: Go into PR. Even better, go to law school.

Supply and demand

Reporter pay is low because there are so many out-of-work journalists that it is a buyer's market. Many places, and Patch is a glowing example, put no premium on quality, just ability to use social media. So that widens the pool and lowers the bar, and pay. Stress is high for the same reasons. Too many available bodies embolden publishers and editors to push reporters to the max. Again, quality does not count, just get clicks.

Why is an RN on this as a

Why is an RN on this as a related job?

i'm with you

it stinks - i'm getting **** on left and right

Funny thing is,

many people think reporters are filthy rich and work relatively few hours. The starting pay is around $10 an hour, with a college degree.

When eight local fire departments have chicken dinners in a week and only one is photographed, hate mail and angry accusatory phone calls roll in. When terrible things happen, and are printed on the front page, newspapers are accused of sensationalism.

That's the job, and the desire to see firsthand things that could change our communities and world is worth the low pay and long hours. And the faithful readers make up for the hateful ones.

Creativity Has its Price But You Better Think Twice. Or Thrice.

Is it true you writers write just to write? If it's not for the money, what is it? I'm graduating pretty soon and I've been thinking I could put my writing skills to work in journalism. But after seeing this report, I'm thinking twice. Actually, thrice. Any advice? Oh, by the way, how does poetry pay?

Have a good day.


Poetry doesn't pay until you're dead. It's like any other old art. You'd be better off as a rapper. 


I wish. How do I make that much in journalism?




Im currently a tv reporter. starting salary is close to that but in this day and age means absolutely nothing. pay is lousy, hours suck, you are constantly stressed, stories aren't always interesting. horrible industry to be part of. and to top it all off? a clown-full of makeup in the morning and a bright smile. pay more to look good than you actually make. tv=death. very quick and stressful one.

Upgrading my career

It's a sad state of affairs when leaving my newspaper job to become a dishwasher would improve my quality of life .

Oh that's just f*cking great

I left the oil fields when I was a kid and got into journalism. Oh great. I went from number 4 on the list to number 5.

hey man at least you didn't

hey man at least you didn't go from number 5 to 4! THE WATER IS HALF FULL! lol

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