Missing Comma: Getting Paid?

The American Journalism Review reported last week that journalists’ wages were falling behind the national average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While reporters’ wages increased from $40,000 to around $44,000 in the period between 2003 and 2013, the rest of the country rose from $36,000 to over $46,000 in the same time span.

Additionally, in the decade between 2003 and 2013, multitudes of newspapers, television stations and radio stations fired or laid off dozens of their employees at a time. Local newspaper publisher OPUBCO fired hundreds of employees over multiple layoffs before being acquired by energy industry billionaire Phillip Anschutz. Those that remained took pay cuts.

Newspaper ad revenue is down 60 percent over the past decade,” according to the AJR article by Jim Bach. “This has given employers at many news outlets extraordinary leverage over their workers.

It doesn’t help that the job market for journalists shrinks every year, while the job pool steadily grows. Journalism schools continue to churn out graduates, who go straight for coveted reporting jobs – naturally – and they do so for less and less pay every year. So, what does this mean for journalism?

Well, nothing really. It’s simply reflective of the current ecosystem the news industry finds itself in. Journalism is contracting as it tries to navigate new forms of media. Independent journalists are still a long way away from being able to supplant the old regime. So in the meantime, this is just the reality reporters are currently facing.


Sorry for the short post this week, folks. I’m finishing up moving across town, and my mind has been elsewhere. But good news! C4SS Media, the new podcast network featuring audio recordings of op-eds and other stuff, is now on both iTunes and Stitcher Radio! Just search “C4SS Media” in each site’s respective search functions.

Also, I don’t know if I ever formally announced that Missing Comma has its own Facebook page and Twitter account. You can follow us on Twitter: @missingcomma and on Facebook at this link. Give us a like! I promise you’ll only be mildly disappointed.

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