The Salary Outlook for Journalists

What Does a Journalism Salary Look Like?

Journalists work in many different industries, from radio and television broadcasting to newspaper, periodical, book and directory publishers. Those with the most senior roles like editors earn higher salaries than junior reporters and correspondents.

But even with a master’s degree in journalism, it can be hard to make the jump from junior reporter to senior-level role.


A reporter is responsible for writing articles and news stories in newspapers, magazines, blogs, or scripts for radio and television. He or she must have good research and communication skills in order to produce accurate and compelling reports that inform the public. In addition, a reporter must be able to write clearly and concisely.

As a reporter, you need to be on the move all the time in order to collect news. You will need to attend public functions, meetings, press conferences and law courts to gather news. As a result, this job suits only those who enjoy living an ‘up and doing’ life.

Reporters can be found working for big city daily papers, local or regional periodicals, or for television and radio. As a general rule, larger media markets pay more for reporters than smaller ones do. It is also common for journalists with years of experience to earn more than newbies. In some cases, the most senior reporters make a six-figure salary.


A journalist’s salary depends on their level of experience and education. Senior journalists with advanced degrees are usually paid more than junior journalists. Additionally, journalism jobs in metropolitan areas generally pay more than those in rural or small towns.

Journalists can also increase their salaries by changing locations. This may be difficult for those who have children, but it can be a good way to increase income without sacrificing quality of life.

When journalists want to discuss sensitive issues among themselves, they often use the anonymous Google Doc route. This approach is best known as the source of the shitty media men document that circulated in 2017. It is not clear whether the recent docs about salaries will have the same impact. But it is encouraging to see that the topic has been brought up. Hopefully, this will lead to healthy discussions about how much journalists should be paid. This will benefit all of us in the long run.

News Correspondent

A news correspondent is responsible for covering local and national stories. They work in the field to gather information, conduct interviews, and direct cameramen. They also write, edit, and revise body copy for articles. They can also work in teams that include editors and researchers.

They must be able to meet deadlines and travel extensively. They are often on call to cover breaking news events. Some journalists specialize in specific fields such as science, politics, or crime. Others may be assigned a general assignment to cover all the news events in a particular town or county.

Most beginning journalists start out in lower-paying positions to gain experience. For example, they might begin as a proofreader or in the file room before moving up to reporter. Journalists can increase their salary by changing employers or obtaining advanced degrees. They can also earn more by managing junior journalists.


Depending on the position, the job duties of a writer may include perusing press releases and developing story ideas; conducting research and verifying facts for news stories; investigating a single topic (for years!) for long-form pieces; interviewing subjects; and writing. Writers also might contribute opinions to news media in columns and reviews.

In general, it’s no secret that journalism is not a profession that pays well. But, it’s important to remember that there are many other careers – finance, law and medicine, for example – that pay much more on average.

To become a staff writer, a Bachelor’s degree in journalism is typically required. But, for freelance writers who can produce a uniquely newsworthy piece of work, credentials can be somewhat irrelevant. For instance, a young climate activist or a musician who uncovers systemic corruption within the music industry might be able to garner a writing gig at the New York Times without having the paper’s typical requirements for staff writers in place.

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