Ouch. Guess it's official now -- I have the worst job in the world:
According to an annual ranking of occupations published today, newspaper reporters have the worst job out there.
The study makes sorry reading for anyone who watched Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in All The President’s Men – or Chevy Chase in Fletch – and foolishly thought to themselves, ‘Yes, I want to do that’.
Sadly for newspaper reporters, their lot in life has been judged slightly less desirable than that of a lumberjack – judged the 199th best job – and meter readers, who are in 194th place.
[. . .]
The humble newspaper reporter finished last because of the technological storm currently raging through print media. By 2020, the number of reporting jobs in newspapers in the US is expected to fall by six per cent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Actually, I don't feel all that bad about it. It's been an endlessly interesting career, and after a certain number of years, they started paying me to shoot my mouth off, which is what I'd be doing even if I didn't get paid. And I don't even have to be right! (Yeah, I hear you, couldn't be even if I tried, right?)
And newspapers as we have traditioanlly known them may eventually (or soooner) disappear, but their function will not. There will always be a need for gatekeepers and sorters -- in fact, the more information explodes, the greater the need will be. I don't think of myself as a member of a failing industry so much as an evolving one.
If I were in journalism school today, I think I'd be even more excited about the future than I was when so many of us joined up in the wake of Woodward and Bernstein's glory. I have no idea where any of this is headed, but just based on the way things have evolved and mutated in the past 10 years, it should be a hell of a trip.