Everyone Is Admitting What They Get Paid To Work In Journalism

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Journalism Pay
For some journalists, the days of it being taboo to disclose their salaries are gone. A new Google Doc is circulating which includes details about journalist’s salaries. Photo Courtesy of Nappy.co

For thousands of journalists, the days of it being taboo to disclose their salaries are gone. A new Google Doc is circulating which includes details about journalist’s salaries, reported the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR).

The document was filled with entries from over 1,250 journalism professionals at the time of this article’s publication. In addition to annual salary info, the document asks journalists to list their title, company, gender, identity, ethnicity, years of experience, geographical location and job duties.

According to entries, salaries can range as low as $12,000 annually for freelancers and six-figures for directors, longer-tenured reporters and bloggers. A data journalist with over five years of experience in New York reported she is a woman of color and her salary is $41,000 per year, while a white male reporter in NYC at a different publication with six years of experience reported making $73,000 annually.

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The aforementioned entries highlight the pay equity gap between races and genders, however, many of the entries reflect that journalist are not paid very much in certain markets when the cost of living is factored in regardless of demographic background.

It is important to note that CJR said it has not independently verified any information in the Google Doc. It did, however, question whether the Google Doc reporting style poses ethical dilemmas, while acknowledging that a conversation about what people are being paid in journalism should be had.

“Journalists doing anonymous journalism about journalism, in the shape of Google docs, is a new development in form. And examples like the SMM list definitely bring up ethical implications that should be considered. But in the long run, we would probably all be better off if the salary list sparked a healthy conversation about who is paying whom how much, and for what,” CJR wrote.