In 1973 I took a job as a newspaper reporter at a small daily in Hurst, Texas. The future was so bright I had to wear shades.
I moved on to a bigger paper in Texas and then one in Louisiana and then one in Miami. None of those papers exists today.
And the job of newspaper reporter? According to CareerCast.com, in 2015 that is the worst job in America — No. 200 out of 200, worse than being a lumberjack, worse than being enlisted in the military, worse than being a cook. The pay is lousy and the prospects of finding and keeping a job are nearly nil.
Newspaper reporting first gained that distinction two years ago and is holding tightly to the bottom rung.
Well, for most of those years since 1973 I was an editor, and that ranked as only the 137th worst job, which was better than photojournalist at No. 195 and ad sales at No. 184.
The newspaper business is in a death spiral. First, classifieds were stolen by online apps, cutting revenue, which led to cutting costs, meaning reporters. With less news being reported, circulation declined. With less circulation, ad revenue declined. With less ad revenue, more cuts in spending, etc., etc.