Salaries at newspapers are rising, reports Jennifer Saba of Editor & Publisher, a newspaper industry trade journal. But it’s not necessarily good news for would-be journalists looking to break into an industry beset by revenue problems.
Newspaper wages rose 2.1 percent from 2008 to 2009, reported Ms. Saba, based on the annual Newspaper Compensation Study by the Inland Press Association using data from 400 U.S. and Canadian papers.
But the folks getting the raises, up to 13 percent for “interactive producers,” are not the people producing the raw content — news stories.
Those employees associated with “new and alternative business development” have seen wages climb by 5 percent, reported Ms. Saba.
But reporters and editorial-page editors — the folks who produce the “product,” the news stories, that the “interactive producers” and experts in “new and alternative business development” are trying to sell — saw flat-line salaries from 2008 to 2009.
Journalists at daily newspapers earn a salary of about $28,000 and those at weeklies about $26,650, according to the 2007 annual survey of journalism and mass communication graduates conducted by Lee Becker at the University of Georgia. Few get rich working as journalists in print newsrooms.
This salary survey offers further evidence that the newspaper industry refuses to invest in what could save it — more and better news coverage by experienced journalists. It has divested itself of the producers of its product by the thousands — 5,900 journalists lost their jobs in 2008 — and given little financial incentive through salary increases to those who remain.
Just more wise management from newspaper corporations …