Being a journalist not so bad

Published 4:14 pm Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Think you have the worst job in America?

Well, you’re wrong — unless you’re a lumberjack.

Then, according to CareerCast, you do in fact have the worst job in America, followed closely by newspaper reporters.

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CareerCast, an online job search resource, ranked the profession of lumberjack as the worst job out of 200 occupations. Newspaper reporters came in at No. 199. Career Cast analyzed 200 professions and gathered data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census, Bureau, trade association studies and other sources to come to their conclusion.

The conclusion was being a lumberjack is dangerous, and being a newspaper reporter, well it’s just bad.

CareerCast publisher Tony Lee explained that newspaper reporters managed to climb out of the basement — after owning the top spot on the Worst Jobs in America list for some time — because the work environment for lumberjacks “got a little worse,” while it stayed the same for reporters.

I can’t speak for lumberjacks, but as someone who has worked at four community newspapers, I can without a doubt say that being a newspaper reporter is far from the worst job in America.

Sure, it can be stressful. There are certainly days when every journalist wants to pull his or her hair out.

The hours can be long. Large quantities of coffee are a journalist’s best friend.

The pay is … well, let’s just say not many of the folks you’ll meet working at a newspaper are doing it to get rich.

But one of the worst jobs in America?

I just don’t see it.

Being a journalist isn’t for everyone, but for those who are cut out for it, it can be an exciting and fulfilling career.

Working as a newspaper reporter is basically being paid to be curious and to learn.

The research and reporting involved in producing an article for the newspaper requires an inquiring mind, a passion for facts and learning as much as possible about the topic at hand.

It’s also a good job if you’re an adrenaline junky. I don’t consider myself one, but I know plenty of journalists who are. I will admit that riding up to a fire that’s blazing out of control or following a tornado in order to get storm pictures will get your heart racing and makes for a pretty exciting work day, even though those are some of the most difficult stories to cover.

But for me, the best part of being a journalist is telling great stories.

I love having the chance to meet interesting people and share their stories with our readers.

Maybe it’s a story about a high school athlete chasing his dream of playing in college, or the story of a young lady who finally got the keys to a 1965 Mustang, or a foster family that’s been allowed to adopt a child they have cared for since his birth.

Those are all stories worth telling, and we get to do that here.

If that’s the worst job in America, I must not understand the definition of worst. To me, that sounds like a pretty good way to spend the day.