Majority of biz journalists have received a raise in past year
A majority of business journalists in the United States received a pay raise in the past year, according to an informal study of more than 200 business reporters and editors conducted in the last month by Talking Biz News and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
Of those who received raises, three-fourths said the increased pay occurred at their current job.
While 56 percent of respondents received a raise, about two-fifths reported their salary remained unchanged in the past year.
The survey discovered that the median survey of business journalists was between $70,000 and $75,000. This is more than previous salary surveys conducted by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers found, which all reported the median salary range of business journalists to be $65,000 to $70,000.
“The results are encouraging because they show that media organizations are committed to paying for quality business journalism,” said Chris Roush, the Walter E. Hussman Sr. Distinguished Professor in business journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill, who conducted the study. “At the beginning of the decade, business journalism salaries were stagnant. This shows a positive change.”
Fourth-sixths of those who received a raise said that their increase was less than $5,000, whereas one in seven said that their salary had increased between $5,000 and $10,000. Ten percent said their salary rose by more than $15,000.
The pay raises occurred for various reasons. Some business journalists said they received their raise as a result of a cost-of-living adjustment. Others reported they leveraged job offers from other media organizations into raises at their current employers.
The respondents work in all types of business journalism, but the majority of participants said they had jobs with either a daily newspaper or website.
Forty-eight percent of the respondents said they work in business journalism jobs located in the Northeast, and the median salary for business journalists in that region was between $80,000 and $85,000. The survey found the 15 percent of business journalists who work in the Midwest reported a median salary of between $55,000 and $60,000, or lower than the national median.
The median salary for business reporters— which counted for 57 percent of all respondents—also varied across the country. In the Pacific region, they received a salary between $65,000 and $70,000, while in the Midwest the median salary for a business reporter was $50,000 to $55,000. In the Northeast, the median salary for reporters was between $75,000 and $80,000.
Business news editors make a median salary between $85,000 and $90,000, according the survey results, while website editors involved in business journalism reported a median salary between $100,000 and $110,000. Editor in chiefs of print publications who responded to the survey make a median salary of $100,000 to $110,000.
Business journalists were asked to respond to a confidential, online survey that asked for their job title, their compensation, the type of media outlet where they worked, their geographic region and length of time in their current job and in business journalism, and their change in compensation during the past 12 months.
Journalists were not asked for their specific place of employment but were required to provide their name to verify that they were a business reporter. Those names were kept confidential.