For the second time in three years, the job of newspaper reporter has topped CareerCast’s list of the worst jobs in America.
After topping the list in 2013, newspaper reporters’ fortunes got a little better in 2014 when the job moved up one notch to 199 out of 200, but that proved to be short lived with this years’ rankings:
Newspaper reporter, which displaced lumberjack as the worst job of 2015, has a negative growth outlook of -13.33% and an average annual salary of $36,267. Broadcaster and photojournalist, with mid-level annual salaries of less than $30,000, also ranked at the bottom of the list. However, those with good writing skills often can find new employment in public relations, marketing, advertising and social media, where the outlook may be brighter.
CareerCast found one reporter who did just that:
Erin Hayes, a former newspaper reporter in Boston, knows that all too well. Hayes graduated college in 2003 and worked her way up from editorial assistant to a position writing the Boston Herald’s ‘Inside Track’ column. Unfortunately, she had the misfortune of entering the industry just as it began a steady decline that continues today.
‘I realize now that it’s difficult to turn the ship on a dime, but I did wonder why the newspaper wasn’t adapting with social media,’ she says. With stagnant wages and a plummeting hiring outlook, Hayes applied her passion for story-telling and media to video production, and she co-founded a Boston company that specializes in advertising called Media Boss.
To other reporters who are eager to make a career change, Hayes advises them to ‘try to empower yourself,’ she says. ‘Know that you can talk to complete strangers and write clean copy on a tight deadline. Don’t undervalue those skills,’ which she says can be especially valuable in fields such as public relations and marketing.
This line from an exchange between the editor of a newspaper and a reporter from the new Netflix series Daredevil may have summed it up best:
Everybody we know is making twice what we are writing for blogs, working from home in their underwear. We’re hanging on by our fingertips, Ben. You really want to be greasing that ledge?