April seems to have been the month of doom and gloom for the journo-type.
I can’t speak for the UK, but here in the US there seems to have been a never ending stream of surveys and studies that show more or less one thing: our job sucks, we’re never going to make a meaningful amount of money to support a family and sustain a future, and oh, that journalism degree is useless as all get out.
Judging from Nat’s post yesterday about local journalism facing its own death-knell, seems like it’s the same on that side of the pond as well.
As a quick rundown:
CareerCast rated Newspaper reporter as the number 5 worst job in the world. Number five. That’s four spots better than Logger, Military personnel, oil rig worker and dairy farmer. Working as a journalist is worse than being a waiter/waitress. Have you ever worked in a restaurant?
There’s also been the study, recently published by The Daily Beast, that journalism is one of the 13 most useless majors in college. Curiously, of those thirteen listed, and the statistics provided, journalism is the only one with a negative projected growth over the next decade.
Boy, we really suck.
So what’s with all of the negativity? What did us newspaper reporters do to deserve this? What about online? Do you digi-guys and gals get lumped into this morass of negativity too?
Predictably, there’s been some fight back from the journo-type. There was this post on Forbes, which made the points you’d expect when under fire.
We meet neat people, do neat things, go places for free, get to consider ourselves as interesting people, have an excuse to be a narcissist and, oh, we get to read a lot. Also, it’s not stress, it’s excitement – for the most part.
Let’s be honest though.
This job is stressful. It can suck. Sometimes you have to hold your nose and get along with the nasty bits. It’s not for everyone.
The past few weeks of work for me has been some nose-holding. In that Forbes post, wedged between the bit about meeting with the guys who made Words for Friends, and patting yourself on the back when someone says “I saw your article quoted in the Times”, should be something about going to work, week-in, week-out, knowing you’re off on a death knock or working the phones after tragedy strikes.
That’s the sort of stuff that gets you on the worse jobs list.
Going home that night, knowing you memorialized someone who lived a special life, or telling a delicate story about the fragility of existence, is why this is the best job.
It’s not the free stuff or the self-aggrandizing.
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After finishing my stint in student media, I couldn’t help but look