"You have to cope with stress efficiently or basically just surrender to it," says Sonny Albarado, president of the Society of Professional Journalists, a trade organization based in Indianapolis. "You've got pressures from your supervisors to produce copy, sometimes on really tight deadlines, and then you've got the stress of actually having to go out and talk to people, interview them for the topic ... and then there's the stress of making sure that you're accurate and not misquoting people or getting facts wrong or libeling anyone."
There's also stiff job competition, stagnant salaries, unpredictable work schedules and increasing pressure to take on additional responsibilities as newspapers cut staff positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the median salary for reporters is $35,870, and jobs are expected to decrease by 8 percent from 2010 to 2020.
Despite the job's position as the "worst" in America, many journalists love their career, and the outlook is bright for those with a reporter's skill set, Albarado says. Reporters could apply their research and writing skills to communication gigs for online news venues, nonprofit organizations or other media outlets.
"Despite the doom and gloom, being a journalist is still one of the best damn jobs on the planet," Albarado says.