Most Stressful Jobs: #6 Print Reporter, Star Tribune’s Liz Sawyer [VIDEO]
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MINNEAPOLIS — Giving a voice to those who aren’t heard and being a watchdog to keep the community informed, when you’re a journalist you have a lot of responsibilities.
Taking spot #6 on our most stressful jobs list, developed by careercast.com, is print reporter. Liz Sawyer has been with the Star Tribune for nearly three years. As a breaking news reporter she is always in a race against the clock.
“Which includes crime, which means I write multiple stories a day, and I am always on deadline.”
With her father being a sports reporter, growing up, reading the newspaper was always a staple in her family.
“From the time I was 16 I knew I wanted to go into journalism. I see the public service message – informing the public and holding elected officials accountable. I worked on my high school newspaper staff with the editor and chief for two years and then I went to school at Syracuse University in upstate New York and got a degree in newspaper journalism.”
In 2014, an internship landed her a position at the Star Tribune.
“It was an absolute dream, it’s one of the top 10 papers in the country and it’s a successful regional outlet. For me to get a job here out of school was incredibly lucky.”
Every reporter has different beats that they cover such as health, business, education local government and many more. For Sawyer most of her time at the paper has been spent covering breaking news.
“I would come in, in the morning, and it was like you were putting out little fires. I would get stories up online as fast as I could but obviously I want to be accurate first, I’d rather have it right than be the first one.”
Because of the changing industry and multiple ways people can get news, Sawyer says many print reporters are concerned about job security.
“Reporters are being laid off across the country, newsrooms are being downsized drastically. At the Star Tribune I’m lucky enough to be in a secure spot right now but there is always that fear that you don’t know in three or five years what kind of financial state the paper will be in.
Making enough money to support yourself can also be a challenge.
“The salary isn’t typically great, I do okay here and I can make a living in Minnesota, but if I were working in a bigger city it would be much harder.”
Sawyer says one of the most stressful aspects of her job is handling stress brought on by covering certain events.
“There are events that will really bother you, as a consumer of news you hear about a fatal fire or a nasty shooting and that affects you. But when you are on the front lines of that reporting and talking to these families who have faced a devastating loss, it is traumatic.”
When is comes to handling stress, Sawyer says she’s still figuring it out but she knows talking about it seems to help.
“I think a lot of reporters have to set aside some social time, to just go out and have a beer after work and kind of discuss some of the things they’ve dealt with in the day.”
Sawyer also likes to play volleyball and says it helps her release some of her frustrations.
Regardless of stress or any challenges brought on by her job, Sawyer says she’s glad she has an exciting career.
“As stressful as it is, what makes it worth it, is that every day is an adventure.”
Tune in next week as we make it to the half-way point on our most stressful jobs list, #5 event planner.