Truth: Being a reporter isn’t the worst job

Every year around this time, journalists — especially ex-newspaper journalists — embrace the survey that shows that theirs is the worst job in America. It’s as good an example of the victim mentality as there is.

According to CareerCast, the gig rings in at No. 200 on a list of 200.

Readership has steadily moved from print publications, whether they be newspapers or magazines, in favor of online outlets. The resulting decline in advertising revenue has left newspapers — and thus, newspaper reporters — feeling the pinch.

Previous full-time newspaper reporters, like former Virginia Pilot scribe Nora Firestone, have found their skills translate into fields with more promising, long-term outlooks such as public relations.

“I think that some of the best PR/media-relations and content writers are former journalists/reporters,” she says. “We know how to find the gold in a person, company, situation or event.”

Which is also why it’s far from the worst job in America. A newspaper reporter’s skills are easily transferable to other media platforms, and all you have to do is look at the backgrounds of recent hires at other media platforms. They’re often mostly newspaper reporters.

What’s the best job, according to CareerCast? Actuary.

I dare you to find a single newspaper reporter in America who’d rather be an actuary.

So it’s worth tipping a hat today to the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, who appropriately recognizes he’s lucky to be in the business he’s in.

I love spending every day trying to figure things out in the political world. I love talking to people — sources and other journalists — who make me see something in a story or a politician that I couldn’t see on my own.

I love the process of looking through some huge poll with tons of numbers in it and finding the one thing that I think is worth sharing with folks. I love seeing people who work with me on The Fix — and in journalism more generally — producing the charts, GIFs and pictures that allow us to explain things in the best possible way to the online reader.

The honest truth is that journalism is really damn fun most of the time. That doesn’t mean — this is for you, haters — that we don’t take what we do seriously. We do. But, a profession where you get to not only engage in the daily conversation around politics, pop culture (or whatever) but also write about it for some broader group of people is pretty hard to beat.