Hundreds of journalists are sharing their salary information in a spreadsheet

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/13/hundreds-of-journalists-are-sh.html

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I get paid peanuts; but, then again, I am only one of an infinite number of monkeys in this warehouse, and we are well behind on our target to recreate the entire works of Shakespeare. The closest we’ve got thus far is “2B or 2B”.

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There’s no way that podcast producer is anyone other than Ezra Klein.

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From what little I know about the cost of living in the US, those are both absurdly low salaries, and I’m not sure which one will allow for the higher quality of life. NYC is expensive to work in, even if you technically don’t live there.

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Word on the Twitter is that it’s Kara Swisher.

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They are and neither.

ETA: And I can almost guarantee they contain little to no employee protections other than those mandated by law. And if they’re freelance, none whatsoever.

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One conclusion from reading that list: if you plan on being a journalist, spending $84k for a year at the Columbia Journalism graduate programme is not a good financial decision.

inspired Mike Cernovich to go off on some completely unsubstantiated rant to set off his army of loyal trolls because apparently all journalists are scum and also trustfund babies even though there isn’t any proof of that

There are few things that the Know-Nothings hate more than someone with a post-secondary degree being paid even a paltry salary for writing, reading, or doing something fun and creative.

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The trust-fund babies are those who cover the presidential race. If they’re not trust-fund babies, then they’re ex-Wall Streeters. E.G. Erin Burnett, Sydney Ember (NYT), Anderson Cooper, et al.

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Oh! I didn’t know she was with Vox. That’s pretty likely, too.

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The idea that you should stay silent about your salary / wage is almost always more beneficial to your employer than it is to you.

My first job out of college I was working for a staffing agency on an IT project. One day I mentioned off the cuff my wage. One of my fellow workers was complaining about having to do some menial tasks and I said something along the lines of “Eh, if they want to pay us $18/h to do this, I got no complaints”. Literally everyone in earshot turned and glared at me. Turns out everyone else on the project was working for a subcontractor who got a contract from the agency to provide a whole team, not the staffing agency directly, and the guy in charge was taking a large cut off the top of all their wages. To the tune of him taking in an extra $4/h from each of the six guys under him on top of the $2/h premium the staffing agency paid on his normal wage for being the site lead.

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Yeah, a cornerstone of any solid pyramid scheme is keeping mum about pay.

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It’s even worse if they get benefits like a healthcare or retirement plan (no matter how bad those plans might be). One of my first full time jobs was as a low-level state government clerk. An anti-tax group wanted budget cuts to focus on eliminating public sector jobs and demanded to see salaries for workers in multiple departments. Just did a quick search and found this expanded far beyond what was initially published in newspapers:

https://yourmoney.nj.gov/transparency/payroll/

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When I worked for the State of Florida, the governor (Scott) published a spreadsheet of everyone’s salaries, with names. Of course it’s public information on Florida, anyway, so no one could really complain. But what I want to state is that if anyone does an analysis of the data, don’t look at the average. It’s misleading. The best thing, in my opinion, is to do a histogram: at each annual salary amount (or you can use a range, like each $5K or something) draw a vertical bar representing the number of people at that salary level or in that range. The draw a different-colored line at the median point and at the average point. This very visually shows how some extreme salaries distort the average, and it shows that tons of people are making less than the average, while a few make way more.

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