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Why being a journalist is a pretty cool gig

June 10, 2013
Journalists have a tough job. It's not all Clark Kent and Lois Lane stuff, and certainly it's not glamorous.

Earlier this year, CareerCast released their annual list that pegged journalists at the top for worst jobs (second place last year). Out of 200 jobs ranked, journalists were No. 1 on the list of worst careers – that's beating lumberjack, janitor, garbage collector and bus driver.

High stress levels, low pay, long hours? Why choose this profession as many have? Because at the end of a long day, it's still a great job. Not a lot of people are cut out for it, but those who do it, understand their role because, like me, they are news junkies.

I wake up to hot cups of information and coffee and go to a bed blanketed by news along with real blankets. You learn a lot in this job, read a lot, too. I feel really connected to the community and its people.

Sure journalists get to go cover cool community and national events and rub shoulders with some powerful people and celebrities. But we also know some readers don't always trust us because they feel we have an "agenda."

We don't have an agenda. Coupled with that, government is weary of our existence. So why should we have our profession protected by the Constitution?

This freedom of press probably doesn't rank high in readers' freedom list. Freedom of speech? Freedom of religion? Freedom to vote for your candidate?

Besides, is this freedom only guaranteed to those who publish the news? It sometimes appears that way, but it's about protecting all the people of the U.S.

Freedom of the press means freedom of information.

That is why the term "press" refers not just to newspapers, but to other organized methods of spreading news, such as radio and television, books, Internet and movies.

Without a free press, only ideas and information approved by those in power would be published. Without a free press, government officials could violate other rights, such as freedom of speech, religion and assembly, with little fear of being stopped.

Tell me what you think about journalists.

Managing Editor, Appen Media.
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