A new survey of the best and worst jobs in the country has declared that being a newspaper reporter is the worst career you could be pursuing.
CareerCast just published its Worst Jobs of 2016 list.
It cited fewer job prospects because of publications going out of business and declining ad revenue providing less money for decent salaries.
The survey put the annual median salary of a print reporter at $37,200.
It is the third year in a row that a newpaper reporter ranked as the worst job. Being a broadcaster didn’t fare much better. It came in third worst on the list.
“The news business has changed drastically over the years, and not in a good way,” says former Broadcaster Ann Baldwin, president of Baldwin Media PR in New Britain, Connecticut. “When people ask me if I miss it, I tell them ‘I feel as if I jumped off of a sinking ship.’”
The report says that one factor that has many media jobs among the worst is the decline of advertising revenue. And, a drop in advertising sales translates to a decline in positions for advertising sales people. Advertising Sales Person appears on the 10 worst jobs list for the first time (#193), after finishing just outside the bottom 10 a year ago.
While it is very true that the entire nature of all print media has changed drastically, journalists’ participation in their own demise shouldn’t be dismissed.
Newspapers were slow to adapt to 21st century technology and media trends largely because they were arrogant. I had several friends who were making good livings in newspaper advertising around ten years ago. All were lamenting the general attitudes of the papers they worked for regarding transitioning to digital. None of the papers were prioritizing it and, in fact, some were just then taking their first serious forays into developing any online presence at all.
According to my friends, the editorial boards and reporters really couldn’t envision a world where they were greatly diminished, or didn’t exist at all. It was still 1950 in their minds. The advertising salespeople I knew were out dealing with the business world every day and could easily see the writing on the wall. Most of them got out just before newspapers began gutting their advertising staffs.
An even bigger problem began long before Craigslist rendered newspaper real estate ads obsolete. Most reporters long ago stopped reporting and began advocating, generally for Democrats and left-leaning causes. The pride that journalists once took in being objective and remaining separated from the story practically disappeared. It became a profession almost devoid of ethics and was contributing to a decline in readership even before the Internet made life difficult for them.
Ever delusional, the reporters will always have the changing advertising model to blame their misfortune on, thus keeping them from ever being relevant again.