In April 2013, CareerCast.com released its Jobs Rated report listing the worst jobs of 2013. The newspaper reporter profession was listed as the worst job. Since the article was published, we received a number of responses from our members disputing this claim. Below you will find (in their own words) why reporters, both past and present, love their jobs. To share your story, use the form on the right or send an email to communications@pa-news.org.


Why I love my job

  • Why I love my job
    by Scott Blanchard, Sunday Editor, York Daily Record/Sunday News

    The job of newspaper reporter often draws the most curious, insightful, courageous, ethical, irreverent, creative, driven and intelligent people around. They’re committed to freedom of speech, to honesty, to fairness, to holding the powerful accountable and to being society’s witnesses to the mundane and the spectacular.

    The best ones understand the role that vigorous, independent journalism can play in strengthening communities. They drag problems or corruption into the light, to be addressed and solved. And they leave us with a smile or a tear at the last line of a well-told tale.

    What other jobs can say the same?

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  • Why I love my job
    by Denny Bonavita, Retired Editor and Publisher
    The Courier-Express/Tri-County Sunday (DuBois), the Jeffersonian Democrat (Brookville) and The Leader-Vindicator (New Bethlehem)

    I had intended to become a high school teacher. A half-century ago, however, there were no Pell grants or student loans. I was in college, I was broke, and I needed a job. Posted on the guidance center’s bulletin board was a notice of a part-time sports writing job. I had a lifelong love of sports that far outmatched my athletic ability. “Whose blood? Oh. Bonavita’s.” “Who’s that limping off? Oh. Bonavita.” I had learned how to play baseball, football, basketball; I just couldn’t perform well.

    So I applied. I took the job. I went to report on a water polo game. It happened to be the first water polo game I had ever seen; I was so ignorant that I fleetingly wondered, “How do they get the horses into the Cathedral Prep school pool?”

  • But I went. I watched. A kindly coach (Thanks, Len Cyterski) lingered after the game to chat me through it.

    Back at the newspaper, I put five sheets of 8.5x11-inch newsprint, sandwiched around four pieces of carbon paper, into the manual typewriter, looked at it — and froze. My deadline was about 20 minutes away.

    A kindly sportswriter (Thanks, Bill Shelley) told me what to do. “Just tell your mother about the game,” he said. “Or tell your dad, but if you use him as your audience, don’t cuss!”

    I wrote it. They printed it. People read it. I got money. They would pay me money to TELL STORIES! This wasn’t work. This was fun. It ended as a full-time job this past March, but only because, at age 70, I had ossified enough to semi-retire.

    “Would you want to write two or three editorials a week for awhile?” I was asked. We agreed on the compensation. I have been writing six, for no more money. It’s still fun.

  • Worst “job”? I dunno. I helped to dig two graves one summer. I ran an injection molding press midnight-to-8 in a factory where summertime heat was measured in triple digits, even at those hours.

    Those were “jobs.”

    What I did, earning enough to raise six kids along the way, can’t be classified as a good “job” or a worst “job.”

    “Fun” isn’t a job.

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  • Why I love my job
    by Mark Scolforo, Reporter
    The Associated Press

    Worst job in the world? Then why have I heard so many former reporters describe their regret over having left the profession?

    Yes, it probably would be a bad job for someone who isn’t interested in politics, crime, breaking news, art, sports, the markets and every other aspect of the world around us.

    If you don’t enjoy reading and can’t put together a simple declarative sentence, it would probably be misery. If you keep score in life based strictly on how much money you make, it’s probably not for you. If you can’t deal with moments of intense pressure, stay away. If you can’t stomach the ugly truth about some of the horrible things we humans do, you won’t last.

  • But not me, I love reporting, I’ve loved it since my 7th grade teacher roped me into contributing to our class’ mimeographed newsletter and I love it today.

    I love its incomparable variety, the sense that the next phone call I get could be about something everyone ought to know, and the feeling that I can help people understand what happened.

    It’s not a terrible job. It just might be the best job there is.

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  • Why I love my job
    by David M. Shribman, Executive Editor
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Pittsburgh Press

    Had I been made of sterner stuff--had I possessed the constitution and the temperament of Paul Bunyan rather than the build and outlook (but, sadly, not the talent) of Red Smith--then there is no doubt I would have become a lumberjack, the winner of last year’s dubious derby for worst profession. I love the woods; I own four or five lumberjack shirts and even bought my wife a nightgown in that pattern for Christmas this year, maybe not my shrewdest move ever. Plus I have an appetite like a lumberjack.

    Lucky for me there existed, in my time and country, an alternative profession, one where it was also possible to cut big oaks down to size, to chip away at the surface of things and to clear away the debris of events, all in front of a keyboard, where the chances of serious injury--what the lumbermen used to call a "woods accident"--were relatively small.

  • For a long time I could take comfort in the fact that both professions provided the raw material for paper, and now of course I know that even paper isn’t necessary. An 1894 account of life in a lumber camp carries this sobering reminder: "Not only is it a dull routine of toil, but oftentimes it involves great hardship, while its pleasures are few and far between."

    That’s not our craft, far from it. I love being an editor and writer--and working amid the camaraderie that matches that of a lumber camp--mainly because of the one way in which it diverges from the work of a lumberjack. Here we create something--something worthy, ennobling and beautiful. That said, I have to admit that the lumber camp has one lure, and the mere title of an article in the journal Forest History Today says it all. It’s called "Old Boy, Did You have Enough of Pie?" and my answer almost certainly would be: No, whether editor or lumberjack, this particular old boy did not.

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  • Why I love my job
    by Jonathan D. Silver, Staff Writer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    I can’t think of another profession that affords a better mix of curiosity indulgence, variety, intellectual freedom, the ability to influence public discourse and the leeway to go against convention. Plus, sometimes I get to wear jeans to work.

    And it’s just plain fun. Where else would I be able to hang out with undercover detectives at 3 in the morning, profile a Pittsburgh Steelers legend, dodge tear gas at a G-20 Summit and investigate two major airline crashes? Answer: Nowhere. Journalism is noble. It’s about the truth. It’s about transparency. Journalists look out for the little guy and stand up to bullies. We make government accountable. We get to the bottom of things. Journalism is the bastion of democracy, and there is nothing more exciting than being a part of it.

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  • Why I love my job
    by Mark Walters, Multi-Platform Journalist York Daily Record/Sunday News

    I love my job because I love telling stories and disseminating information. News is what’s happening at all times, and being a part of that 24-7 process is rewarding. Journalism is an honorable profession that requires trust, honesty and openness, as well as handling major catastrophes that people will remember for their entire lives with integrity, empathy and passion.

    I’ve wanted to be a journalist since I was 16. Now, on the brink of 26 and having been in the industry for several enjoyable years, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life.

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