You know, all of the newspapers I wrote for were weeklies. Some didn't even pay me. I started out writing theater reviews. They gave me a pair of tickets and a byline, and I felt overpaid. That's where it started. Once I had been published, it was easy to get other weeklies to let me work for them.
The big deal for a news reporter is to go from the weekly to a daily. That's arriving at the big time. After working for the Star Tribune, I was finally offered a job at a daily in the desert in Southern California. Whoohoo. They offered me an hourly wage of $8.50/hour. This was in 1995.
I turned down the job, moved to Washington and became a computer analyst instead, abandoning the dream of being a writer. I started working on making money. I've come full circle.