OLD Media Moves

Tongue in cheek: Business journalists are overpaid

June 25, 2015

Posted by Chris Roush

MoneyChristopher Carosa writes a response to an article written by Jason Zweig of The Wall Street Journal titled, “Why You’re Paying Too Much in Advisory Fees.”

Carosa writes, “The typical financial writer charges absurdly high fees to produce editorial content — content that is often mediocre in terms of practical real-world application.

“According to a 2015 survey by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (disclaimer: I’m a member), in the Northeast, the median salary for reporters is between $75,000 and $80,000. These annual salaries may bear little relationship to the services they provide.

“Typically, the most expensive freelance writers get paid $1 per word (and that’s rare). The average financial columnist writes a weekly story at about 800 words. For $80,000 a year, that would equate to about 100 stories. But there are only 52 weeks per year (less if you include vacation time).

“Moreover, the Editorial Freelance Association says journalists typically get paid 26 cents to 50 cents a word. That means a typical freelancer could produce between 200 and 400 stories for $80,000. But there are still only 52 weeks in a year. In other words, a freelancer could produce a weekly column for between $10,000 and $40,000 per year — a fraction of the salary rates typically paid to business journalists.

“But these fees look increasingly bizarre nowadays: Many publications allow freelancers for publish articles for no compensation whatsoever. Indeed, business bloggers — another form of journalism — routinely post their stories at no cost to the readers, sometimes at a clip far greater than one column a week.”

Read more here.

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