These days more and more bureau jobs are popping up, for several reasons. First, the one-man-band thing makes it cheaper. Second, people can actually work out of their homes and an office is no longer necessary (also cheaper.) Third, it lets the ND stretch an already thin staff farther out into the market. (By the way, putting a rookie into a bureau situation is just insane from a management perspective. You're not just throwing a kid into the deep end of the pool, but into the ocean.)
There are two kinds of bureaus: those with one person or crew and those with a bunch of people. Most of them are the former. This is where you must be careful when considering a bureau job. So let's take a look at two points of view:
-As a reporter in a bureau you have a ton of responsibility, more than those at the main station. Where normal reporters might have a beat like education or crime, your beat is the entire area. You're expected to know everything that's going on. Normal shift? Hah. If something breaks you'll get the call since you're the only reporter in the bureau. Nights, weekends, overnight, doesn't matter. Tag, you're it. Miss a story in your area? Tag, you're it.
Camera or gear broke down? Enjoy the drive back to the main station. Wanna day off? You'll have to figure out some way for someone else to cover the bureau, and there won't be a lot of volunteers. And if you have to call in sick it creates a nightmarish domino effect at the main newsroom.
-As a manager you know that you have someone covering a certain area, and you're not shy about calling that person any time, any day, when news breaks. You expect your bureau person to know everything and never miss a story. You might expect that person to have a scanner at home, and sleep with the thing on. (Not kidding.) And if you can't reach the bureau person during a big story, you're gonna get ticked off.
Meanwhile, out of sight, often out of mind. You don't develop the relationship with the bureau people as you do with the rest of the staff.
Bureau jobs are tough. It's like you're never really off the clock. There's nothing social about them. If you're young, you won't be around the veterans who can mentor you. So think long and hard before considering one.