Doing 'the worst' job

Even before a bunch of major media outlets disseminated ... untruths last week in Boston, "newspaper reporter" hit bottom on a list of 200 professions compiled by

Old-school scribes may be amused that "actuary" holds the top spot.

But the fact is we came in dead last -- behind "sewage plant operator" (87), "funeral director" (117) and "dishwasher" (187). And we likely would have done far worse had the ranking been shaped by, say, public opinion, rather than more prosaic considerations such as workplace stress and opportunties for advancement.

Some see confirmation of the dino-media's impending extinction not only in the list but in the egregious errors APCNN and others made in the competitive post-Marathon heat.

Yet social media's crowd-sourced brand of twitizen journalism also ran off the rails; Reddit apologized for fomenting what it rightly acknowledged was a "witch hunt" after photos and info about supposed suspects  posted by know-nothings went viral.

Credible media critics such as Jeff Jarvis suggest that traditional professional practices of verifying information and ascertaining credibility of sources (how quaint!) are more essential than ever in an era when news coverage includes live Tweets of the excitingly indecipherable chatter of police scanners.

So newspaper reporters should take heed, as well as heart. 

We've got nowhere to go but up.