First of all the pay is low and very few strike it rich as a newspaper reporter. But the reasons the stress levels are so high are because the job is demanding in many respects. This is a job with long and unpredictable hours covering meetings, trials, and breaking news. It’s not uncommon to work all day on a story, receive follow-up calls from editors well after you’ve handed the story in, and then get called in the middle of a night to cover a murder or major accident. Good reporters are never really off duty.
Also, the industry is not faring well at the moment because leaders still haven’t figured out a way to adequately monetize the product. That means many papers are downsizing (with some even shutting down completely) as fewer reporters try to do more with less – a stressful issue that looms over almost every reporter at the moment.