Study reveals journalists' pay crappier than ever, surprising not one single journalist


On the other hand, you could probably find a lot of folks who will happily argue that journalism itself is crappier than ever…


Well, it’s not like journalists do something that should be highly paid, like for example hauling garbage, unplugging sewage lines, teaching children, assisting the infirm, or… hey… wait… those all get crappy pay too! What the hell is going on here!


Regret was up? It increased from 26.7% of respondents to 26.8%, and has been pretty flat for the last 10 years. The study also only shows that salaries fell by $5k for those in magazines (and I’m not sure if there’s a difference between “magazines” and “consumer magazines”), with the overall average inflation-adjusted salary actually holding pretty steady since 1985: those with bachelors degrees are actually making very slightly more than in 1987, which hardly supports the headline that “journalists’ pay [is] crappier than ever.”

I actually wonder if, adjusted for quality, journalist pay hasn’t actually increased, especially considering the relatively high salaries reported by those working on the internet.

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I don’t see why this is surprising. When I was a kid in high school, we all wanted to be journalists, or at least it was on the list. Wouldn’t it be fun to just spout opinions all day and get paid for it?

So supply is high, while demand for the paper kind is dropping like a stone, and TV too. And how many bloggers make a living at it? Maybe a dozen? This is the recipe for a crappy paycheck.

That’s not journalism.


Tell that to a high school kid!

Half modern journalism is just that - or it at least gets a spin filter applied to it.

But the one thing web showed us, the skills for journalism, and the number of people who possess those skills are in abundant supply for the most part. I just read an article where some large site got tons of poor saps to write sports commentary for free for years on the off shot of getting a paid gig. It was pretty time consuming because not only did they have to write everything, but attend games and interview players etc. Yet the pool of people willing to work for free is pretty great.

It’s probably like how most drug dealers don’t make crap for money and risk getting shot at and arrested, in the hopes they are one of the ones that go on to make it big.

I went to a high school where my graduating class was 35 people. And believe it or not, we had a school newspaper, and a journalism class. We learned that it’s not just opinion.

I worked for a company that tried to do that. It turns out, when people find out they’re doing a journalist’s job for free (at least in the conservative town I was working in) they start asking to get paid. To put some perspective on just how conservative-minded they are, when we started putting out recycling boxes, we started having older customers coming in, hotly demanding that we pay them for the papers they were putting in the boxes. And I mean…these are people who were paying someone to take them to the landfill. And they’d probably have their heads explode if they found out the trash people were recycling them.

I live in Texas, & I don’t think I made more than $25000 a year from any job i worked at. Back in the 80s, I made around $18000, & was able to rent an apartment, pay for cable TV, pay for food & lots of alcohol. I went on vacations back then. Now I have inherited part ownership in a house & half a million dollars in stocks & mutual funds. My dividends pay around $21K & that seems to be a good living. So I’m gobsmacked by people moaning about earning only $35000.

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Depends on where you live. My wife makes $50k and for the area, it’s very good; however, because our property taxes are really high as well as other expenses, we barely scrape by, and if we lived in, say, one of the northern Chicago suburbs, we’d be destitute. But other people in our region have household incomes of $35k and live very well, but have to have pickup trucks just to drive down the road.

Me too, and me too. But I was an idiot.

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Graphic designer’s pay is even less.

Well that kind of depends on what we’re considering journalism here. There’s an abundant supply of people who can supply words to put on the interwebs, but there are also still a tiny number of people who can embed themselves in Palestine and provide incisive, thoughtful first-hand reporting of events around them (thankyou Al Jazeera). Those skills are rare and disappearing, surely?

In–the-field journalism has always been an uncommon minority compared to the rest of it. But yes, those who actually go out and experience things and report on them I have a lot more respect for.

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For example… There’s probably an abundant supply of people who ought to have been paid to read this.


Wow. We sure are getting what we are paying for.

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