Am I in the wrong line of work?

Woodward and Bernstein as depicted in an 'All the President's Men' still The latest projections of the US government rank being a journalist as one of the worst jobs for the 21st century, as newspapers cut costs and jobs. Some other of the "worst jobs for the 21st century" include textile workers, file clerks and electric meter-checking guys. But journalists will also have a hard time getting jobs, despite the increase in media outlets. According to the Labor Department, reporting positions are expected to grow by a mere 5% in the next decade, and most of these jobs are expected to be in small – low-paying – markets.
Source: [Editors Weblog]

I have always known that journalism didn’t pay well but I chose this line of work when I was young, motivated and did not care about such things. I hate to say it, but as you get into your thirties and start committing yourself to a number of financial responsibilities you realize that a good paying career does actually matter. All said and done, journalism as a career, is still evolving:

This projection is based on a relatively restrictive definition of journalists, which will probably evolve in the years to come.

Maybe, just maybe, there is still hope that I won’t live and die poor.

8 Comments

  1. Peter S November 1, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    Natasha,

    Journalism is undergoing a butterfly transformation in the age of the internet and blogging. With all the criticism heaped these days on the fourth estate, it remains as vital (if not more so) than ever.

    If you ever get down here to Florida and the Poynter Institute, let me know.

    Reply
  2. Hareega November 3, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    I really really wanted to become a journalist, I was so much discouraged by nearly 500 people and encouraged by nobody, and we didn’t have a journalism school in Amman then, so I didn’t go for it. Sometimes I envy journalists for what they do. Don’t regret going into something you love.

    Reply
  3. Guy Tynes November 3, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    For 40 years I worked in the broadcast industry, as a radio news director for a couple of them. No, I certainly never got rich, but the satisfaction received from doing work I knew I was capable of was its own reward. Most of the quality people I worked with felt the same way. Those who wished for material things often went into allied areas…sales, management, ownership. Doing good work, work that satisfies you, is very important. Looking back, I was never a celebrity, but that was never my intention. Having the respect of your peers may not pay the bills, but it warms the spirit long after material gain has gone. Don’t be discouraged…as Shakespeare said:

    “This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

    Reply
  4. effendi November 6, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    I’m sorry. I’d rather have an adequate paycheck than the respect of my peers, if that is the choice. Life is difficult enough without having to navigate it broke.

    The Internet and citizen journalism has changed the landscape. People are now offering decent quality reporting & commentary for free. A newspaper has a tough time competing with that.

    Reply
  5. amal November 7, 2007 at 4:40 am

    Hey Tash,

    I have to agree with Guy Tynes-who wants to wear a suit and make tons of money when you can actually reach out and touch people? I know that sounds corny and it doesn’t happen as often as we thought we could make it happen-but it is possible.And the people who make the big checks usually have pretty routine lives-do you really want that?? Naaaaa

    Reply
  6. jareer November 7, 2007 at 6:51 am

    It is not late at all to change careers right now; it might become late someday. Only you can make that decision. No matter how attached and loyal you are to the journalism career, there are lots of good options out there, I believe. We just chat, you decide !

    Reply
  7. AlurdunAlhurr November 8, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    Stick to what you love doing the most, journalism is one of the most noble profession especially investigative journalism .if I were you I would not change my career….
    Just ask Amy Goodman from Democracy Now.

    Reply
  8. Kimberley Hannaman-Taylor November 19, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    First of all, you should do what you love whatever the income potential. Second of all, one white hair is nothing. Third of all, I found you because we named our blogs the exact same thing, and it turns out that we’re both aspiring journalists and you’re currently living near where I grew up.

    I look forward to reading more of your work. My blog covers everything from the dire to the inane (and often they’re one in the same).

    Good luck with your new life..
    Kimberley H Taylor

    Reply

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