My job sucks. I have the worst job in the world for 2013, at least according to a recent article in The Toronto Star. They reported that, according to a study of 200 jobs by CareerCast.com, “reporting has been ranked as the worst job of 2013 because of low pay, high stress and instability.”
“Ever-shrinking newsrooms, dwindling budgets and competition from Internet businesses have created very difficult conditions for newspaper reporters,” the study states.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
If you look at some of the contributing writers on page seven you’ll see that we are attracting a growing number of talented and knowledgeable people from our community to bring you stories.
A number of us have studied journalism, are currently studying journalism and/or are memebers of the Canadian Association of Journalists. They include myself, Rob, Judee, Bill, Wes, Daryl, Trisha, Catherine, Andrew, Shelley and Alison. The other regular contributors are people from the community who are knowledgeable in their respective areas.
Although we are a diverse group we all share one thing in common; we are passionate about writing, and it shows in our stories.
This, my friends, is where the bullet meets the bone. While the study may blame “”Ever-shrinking newsrooms, dwindling budgets and competition from Internet businesses,” the bottom line is newspapers have become boring, corporate entities. The fault lies not with the job itself, or the conditions, but the employers.
Corporate newspapers are run on an 85/15 per cent advertising to content ratio, and it’s difficult to find something in the 15 per cent worth reading.
Newspapers aren’t about the stories anymore, and they certainly are not about the reader. They are about the money generated both from advertising and flyer delivery.
Corporate newspapers are hesitant to say anything that might disturb their advertisers; if an oil company is paying you thousands of dollars a month for advertising you might be hesitant to run a negative story about the pipeline.
While our advertisers are very important to us they don’t dictate what we write. I have built my reputation both personally and for the paper as someone who won’t take crap from anyone, and I’m not afraid to speak my mind. This is something I encourage in all my writers.
Some of our writers may be slanted personally (And none more than me!) but we insist on objectivity and fact checking in their stories.
I pride myself on finding interesting stories about our community, and a day doesn’t go by that I don’t hear from someone how much they enjoy the stories. As people are bemoaning the death of the newspaper we find ourselves looking at increasing our frequency of publication, and are currently negotiating with a company to handle home delivery across the city.
The bottom line is that newspapers aren’t dead, they just need interesting stories. As far as it being the “Worst job,” I think it’s the best job and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Thanks for reading us.