Tag Archives: newspaper reporter

Journalists and Cereal Do Not Mix

cereal

This post will not be brilliant, but I think it will be entertaining never the less. Although, I find myself to be entertaining on a regular basis so I may be biased.

I don’t know why, but not too long ago I was in the mood for cereal for breakfast. But since I wake up and literally roll out the door I just packed my milk, bagged the cereal and went on my way to work.

Most days this breakfast would be fine. I would eat my cereal, read the paper and then start my morning.

But the one day I decide I want cereal there’s a car crash, house fire and missing child.

Now, what is needed for cereal? Yes, that’s right, your hands.

And what is needed for typing up news? Yes, that’s right, your hands.

So I pour my cereal, pour the milk, grab the spoon to dig in and the world implodes.

In the end, I ate mushy cereal 20 minutes later. No one likes mushy cereal. I repeat, no one likes mushy cereal.

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Moral of the story, cereal is the worst idea for anyone in the newspaper business on duty at the time of consumption. Just say no — eat a Pop-tart instead.

Dear Commenters,

A few weeks back my newspaper fell in line with what most newspapers are doing these days: going to paid digital subscription … I mean, giving our readers an exciting opportunity to read the paper online and get a package deal with the print edition.

It makes sense. We’re not going to make money if we’re giving our product out for free.

The reaction of anger and negativity was expected, but to be perfectly frank some of the comments are just plain dumb.

I refuse to comment, reply to emails or speak negatively to those who complain in regards to the paper or my work in general.

I don’t need to condone that behavior or regard their negativity.

But since this is my blog and I live in America, I’m going to take a few moments to respond to some of the comments we’ve gotten.

You create a Facebook page to post articles of interest and ask people to like your page. And now we’re limited to viewing 5 articles in 30 days??? I discontinued my home delivery subscription of 18 years because the quality of reporting had become terrible and you discontinued many of the special features that held my interest. I’m about to “unlike” you on Facebook as well.

Please do “unlike” us because you are clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed any ways. You complain about our reporting but whine because you can’t read our paper. How does that make sense?

Stop being a cheapskate and just spend $10 a month for all the news we provide – which is a lot because we are a daily newspaper.

I understand you trying to sell subscriptions to the paper to the point of not allowing people to view it for free on line. However, if I am a fan of your Facebook page and receive a link to a story, it kind of aggravates me that I can’t even view that link. I just tried to post this on the Spout Off link I got on my page, and I couldn’t even to that! Bwaaaaaa

How dumb would we be to allow you to read stories from our Facebook page and still want people to buy a newspaper. I didn’t go to business school, but it seems pretty obvious. Stop being dumb.

I don’t understand the point of Northwest Florida Daily News posting articles they want us to ready if they are not gonna let us read them! Taking them off my Facebook page because it is pointless to tell me about something, get me interested then put a big “Buy A Subscription” block over the story! Can it be Daily news if I can’t read it!?

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound? Yes it does. And if you don’t read our paper it still has daily stories.

Duh.

I just visited your website was a pop-up box appeared notifying the that I have viewed my 5 Complementary Articles for the month. Have you all imposed new limits on your website!? Genius way to lose an audience, thats for sure!

I’m sorry for the inconvenience of having to pay for something that does, in all actuality, cost money.

Do you think the news just creates itself?

Do you think that the newspaper’s employees are happy floating through life with no raises, little benefits and whiny people like you.

Geez, Louis.

So I live in Holy and I don’t get the paper out here, also I work from 3-midnight and don’t get to watch the news so I think it’s ridiculous that we have I pay for the news online!! A lot of people depend on this page for information and by charging us its going to cost you a lot if business!!

This one might be my favorite.

We are going to lose business by charging people to read the newspaper?

Do you hear yourself?

The paper cost money to create, operate, gather news, post news. The newspaper is not a nonprofit organization here.

We are a business. We require that you pay for our services just like any other business.

Personally, I’d like to see reporters with tip jars in the future. You like my hard hitting journalism? Then give me a buck!

Rising from the Ashes

harry Potter phoenix

Similar to the phoenix, I am rising from the ashes. That’s right. I’m over being sad.

For the past month, I’ve been sulking, crying and just having an all around hard time with life in general. The main part of this has been my main problem since I graduated from college: career.

For more details, refer to my last, incredibly depressing post.

But no more.

Phoenix harry potter

That’s right, I am not sad any more. Part of that is choice, but most of it is that I know there is a higher purpose in all of this. God has chosen this time in my life to break me, to bring me down so that I can give it all to him.

It may have taken me a month to truly get here, but I am here. I’ve made it to the other side!

Phoenix harry potter

Instead of moping that not one, but two job opportunities have slipped through my fingers because of a terrible economy and a challenging field to work in I am taking this time to revel in what I do have going on.

Things I don’t have:

Money

Stability

Future plans

Things I do have:

A job, which my mom keeps reminding me that this is a rarity and I should feel blessed.

A great support system. To everyone who witnessed me cry over the past month, thank you. I love you. You’re the best.

Hope for a brighter tomorrow. You can only go up when you hit rock bottom.

Long ago I started this blog as a school project. I was told it was important to be a part of the online community if I wanted to get into the field of journalism. It morphed into my career, following the ins and outs of a newbie journalist.

Now, I think its just about honesty.

I’ve had interns come in and tell me their grand plans for the future. I never want to be someone who crushes dreams, but the reality is that this field is hard. It takes thick skin and a tight pocketbook to make it through just a few years.

I’m about to celebrate my fourth anniversary at the Daily News and let me tell you, I’m tired. I’m not sure how career journalists do it for 20-something years.

For me, this is a learning time. I’m learning how to be the best writer and editor I can be. I’m learning how to work with other people. I’m learning who I am and what I stand for in a variety of issues and circumstances.

So to the youth out there, be careful if your dream is to go into this field. You will learn amazing things and have amazing experiences, but it will also break you.

Just be sure to take those broken pieces and make something good of it.

I know I will. What that will be I do not know.

I’m Contemplating Stealing Toilet Paper

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I will not steal toilet paper from my office. I will not stoop that low. I will not.

OK, maybe I will.

Next week I might have to.

I hate my life.

depression

I’m a reporter. I’m a graduate student. I’m single. I’m depressed.

There’s low points in life, everyone has them but I think my life has gone a little more low. Here’s an analogy: You have someone having a rough day sitting on the ground a little dirty, a little sad. Beside them you see a hole. You look down the hole and see me on one of those machines that goes through the sand. I’m about 50 feet down and just getting started.

If you can’t tell, I’m having a hard time.

A job I interviewed for a few months back that I was told would be open in the summer fell through. The next day I got dumped. The following week I was supposed to hear about another job I interviewed for and up to this very moment have heard nothing.

At work, the head of photography yelled at me and someone I interviewed for a story retracted — not rare but enough to make me cry at work in front of other people. So embarrassing.

I forgot to pay my rent check and had to pay an additional $100.

Also, its been raining a lot.

I now cry at the drop of a hat.

Seriously, I cannot stop crying.

My mother told me my ex got the job he’s been really wanting – his dream job so to speak. I told her I was happy for him. When we hung up I yelled a little and then began irrationally crying, then sobbing, then balling.

Life is not going well for me.

My bank account is drained. My debt is through the roof. My life is in the crapper.

Where did I go wrong?

Was it the moment I thought I would not pursue a career in publishing? Was it the moment I took the job at the Daily News? Was it the moment I went back to school thinking all the debt I was acquiring would be worth it because I’d get a new, awesome job?

Or maybe it was all those moments.

Maybe, just maybe, I’m a terrible decision maker.

I think maybe God is testing me. Right now, I’m feeling like a modern day Job.

I feel sorry for Job.

No, I haven’t lost everyone I love in some terrible way and my skin isn’t covered in boils but I am getting puffy eyes from all the crying and my hair is a little greasy because I wasn’t up for showering in between tears last night.

I am so pathetic.

This was a rant so I apologize to anyone who made it this far down in the reading.

There’s nothing more to say. If I think about my life too much more I’ll start crying and I’m around other people so that would be bad.

We’ve Made It: Newspaper reporter ranks No. 1 as worst job of 2013

ImageCongratulations are owed to all the newspaper reporters out there – you’ve done it! You have made the No. 1 slot for worst job of 2013.

How does it feel to finally win something? Is it everything you ever hoped for?

Careercast.com puts out a list yearly of the best and worst jobs that year. Last year, newspaper reporters were ranked No. 5 being beaten by lumberjack worker, enlisted soldiers, waitresses and dairy farmers.

This year, though, we’ve done the seemingly impossible. We’ve earned the right to say we literally have the worst job around.

This could be due to the meager pay (I haven’t gotten a raise in four years), the long hours (although overtime is strongly discouraged having your staff continuously cut down and high turnover makes it impossible), and the lousy working conditions (you’re in the elements, the people you have to work with often hate you, and you’re always on call).

Here’s what Forbes reported:

Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.com, says the profession has always been ranked among the worst jobs due to low pay, high levels of stress from working under deadlines, a poor hiring outlook and the requirement to be on duty twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

“But with newspapers cutting back so dramatically, the job actually has a negative growth outlook, meaning there will be fewer newspaper reporters in the future,” Lee said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that the number of traditional print newspapers reporter jobs will decline 6% by 2020. The median salary for these professionals—which is currently a meager $36,000 a year—is also expected to shrink.

newspaper reporter worst job 2013

Now back to me:

Last year I was a little more hopeful and gave a list of best and worst reasons to stay in this field. This year, I’m just keeping my head down and chugging along.

It breaks my heart to think about the future of newspapers and newspaper reporters. These are bleak times we are in, but this is a longstanding profession that has managed to stick around for hundreds of years.

I believe in the power of journalism and I believe in the importance of the newspaper.

This country needs us.

They need reporters who stay longer than 30 minutes at the scene. They need folks who are willing to sit on the phone for an hour to get the one quote needed for a story. They need the tireless efforts of editors and fellow reporters to rip apart stories only to help put them back together again.

Reporters are a part of the fabric of this country and I pray they continue to exist and to, one day, actually thrive while doing their jobs.

Changing Times

At the ripe age of 26 I’ve decided to change my ways.

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That’s right, I’m looking ahead at a different me. Well, at least the way I write.

A few nights ago I picked up a book that I have found to be a personal favorite, Rick Bragg’s Somebody Told Me. Bragg is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and an inspirational writer.

In school, we learned about his writing technique. The former St. Petersburg Times and New York Times journalist would sit with those he was interviewing and just listen. Rarely writing anything down, just soaking it all in.

My professors told me the only time his pen would move was when he was getting THAT quote. The one quote that embodied everything the person was trying to say, that spoke of their character and of their background.

When I first started working at the Daily News my editor told me to look at those writings that I really enjoy and look at what aspects I like most about them.

It’s easy for reporters to have a formula when writing: Lede, nutgraf, quote, transition, quote, fact, transition, end quote. Your story is done.

But with Bragg’s work, and now with mine, it’s a journey. The reader is transported into the world your reporting on. They can taste it, smell it and truly get to know your subjects.

So, henceforth and from here on out throughout my journalistic career, I will be the writer I’ve always wanted to be. I, hopefully, will be a writer that can inspire the next generation of reporters.

Wanna see my first attempt? Read here!

I’m a Reporter

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It’s strange to think that I’ve been in this business now going five years full time. There’s been some pretty hard days, but then again there’s been some pretty great days too.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my career. Where I want to go, what I want to do, who I want to be.

A few months back I spoke with some high school students on the value of being a reporter today. Ironic, since I’m going to graduate school with the intention of pursuing other career options.

But talking with the students made me feel like maybe this journalism thing is a higher calling, so to speak. No, I’m not a preacher or a prophet. But I am a professor of truth.

It almost makes you forget about the lousy pay, terrible hours and little to no thanks.

I guess this post is my musing. Who am I if I’m not a reporter? It’s all I’ve ever done, at least as an adult.

I think it may be all I know how to do.

After years of working in this business I no longer can have normal conversations with people, including my own parents.

My mother told me a story about a student who got into the attic and the only thing I could think about was calling the paper to tell them about a great little story we could pick up.

Even outside the office when I’m talking to people on the phone or in person I automatically have a pen and paper in my hand and am taking notes. I don’t think I can focus without doing that now.

I’m quick to not trust and quicker to look both ways when I cross the street.

I guess, five years later, I really am a journalist. No longer a newbie. No longer wading through the unknown.

I’ve become one.

Hello. My name is Angel and I’m a reporter. Nice to meet you.