Newspaper reporters aren't endangered, they're evolving

Newspaper reporters aren't endangered, they're evolving
Editor's Note: CareerCast recently named newspaper journalist to their list of endangered jobs for 2014. Muck Rack wanted to talk to someone who works in the business to give us their take. We reached out to Andy Paras, Social Media Editor for Post and Courier, to see if he'd like to share his opinion. His response to CareerCast is below.
What do blue whales, mountain gorillas and newspaper reporters all have in common?
They are all endangered species struggling against drastic changes in their environment, according to a new report.
A jobs website called CareerCast recently put ‘newspaper reporters’ on its list of Most Endangered Jobs in 2014, alongside postal workers and lumberjacks. 
In a way the report is right. The traditional newspaperman-he with his rolodex, landline and evening deadline- is a dying breed now that the Internet and smartphones have revolutionized how we read news. 
What it doesn't mention is today's newspaper reporter is adapting to the digital world. They’re breaking news online, learning from their readers on social media and using online data to write important stories that lead to positive change. 
"Online outlets continue to replace traditional newspapers ..." report says. Wait, really? OK, online outlets may have cornered the market on stories asking "Which 'Scandal' character are you?" but if you look closely, much of the honest-to-God news you're reading on an aggregate site started with a newspaper reporter. 

The problem is newspapers, which were printing money in the decades before the Internet, have struggled to replace lost advertising revenue since the digital meteor struck. Newspaper companies that were over-leveraged and under-prepared died off quickly while others survived with furloughs and cuts.

I'm biased but I don't think newspapers as a whole are dying (just try going to the local steakhouse the day the buy-one-get-one coupon runs in the newspaper). I think they're evolving. And the newspaper reporter is evolving with it.

It's not, as CareerCast said in another report, the second-worst job in America, ahead of jobs such as corrections officer. No offense to the corrections officer and others in law enforcement who keep us safe, but at least I don’t have to worry about being shivved in the back every minute while I’m at work (at least not literally.)

The newspaper reporter has changed in many ways, as reflected in the pages of newspaper job listings on CareerCast's own site calling for multi-media journalists who can write, shoot video and take photos, but it's as exciting as ever. 

And some things haven't changed: newspaper reporters are still the hard-charging watchdogs that hold yourlawmakers accountable and report in-depth on important topics when other mediums are looking for the quick hits.

And if you can write good stories and are willing to working odd hours for a fraction of what your roommate the business major will make, then there will always be a job for you.  

As the New York Times' David Carr recently said, "It beats working."

And if I'm wrong, you can always get a job with an online site. 

Andy Paras is the Social Media Editor at Post and Courier. He was voted "Best Local Twitter" by the people of Charleston, South Carolina for three years and running. 

Photo: Different media for news via Shutterstock

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