Survey: U.S. business journalists earn more than their members

June 15, 2022

U.S. business journalists earn nearly $ 18,000, or 37%, more than their peers, according to a recent survey by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism.

The Reynolds Center has revived its annual salary survey for business journalists, last published in 2012, and this year has expanded its survey to include demographic data. One of the long-term goals of the survey is to promote the attractiveness of a business journalism career among college and high school students to help them diversify their business news and better represent the communities they serve.

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Overall, news analysts, journalists and reporters earn $ 48,370 a year, according to the latest data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of the 63.9% of business journalists surveyed who indicated their position as reporters / correspondents, their average annual salary was $ 66,204, well above the average salary of a journalist. In addition to higher pay, business journalists report that they specialize in a wide range of topics, such as markets, real estate, restaurants and the local economy, to lesser known areas such as state budgeting, energy, sports, aerospace and even more. reports on the cannabis industry.

“The news business has been around for a few decades, though business news more important than ever, and in the world of supply chain disruption and inflation, it affects us all. We need smart business experts and experts to help us navigate this complex world, ”said Jeffrey Timmermans, Donald W. Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism Practice Professor and Reynolds Center Director.

Graph showing the average annual salary of the company's journalists and editors

“Plus, there are great jobs in business journalism right now, and our survey shows that they pay better than regular reporting jobs,” Timmermans said.

The Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) provided key support for this survey by distributing it among its members.

“SABEW promotes competitive pay for business journalists who play an important role in providing comprehensive reporting on economic events,” said Kathleen Graham, CEO of SABEW. “We are grateful to the Reynolds Center for benchmarking industry salaries and demographics. continues to be the largest business journalist association. ”

More than half of the respondents, 53%, considered themselves to be women, which shows the high representation of women in business journalism. Unfortunately, the median salary for women journalists / correspondents was $ 9,167 behind men, compared to $ 71,665 for women earning $ 62,498. This pay gap continues to be in the top editing and management positions, with female editors or managers earning a median of $ 79,996 compared to $ 101,997 for men. The average combined income of publishers and managers in business reporting was $ 98,331. However, compared to years of salary experience, women earned higher pay in less time at work, and it shows that the gender pay gap could be narrowed in the coming years.

Graph showing the average annual experience and annual salary of male and female business journalists

“There have been some improvements in the gender field, but there is still a long way to go to reduce the pay gap. Overall, the lack of diversity in business journalism remains a serious problem, ”Timmermans said. “We need a team of business journalists who truly reflect the community they serve; this is essential for business journalism to be relevant to the widest possible audience.”

A total of 236 journalists from 36 states responded to the survey, which ran from May 13 to May 25. Half of the respondents reported more than six states: New York (17.4%), California (8.5%), Florida (7.6). %), Washington (7.2%), Texas (6.4%) and Michigan (4.7%).

Respondents 18-24 (9.8%), 25-34 (35.6%), 35-44 (19.5%), 45-54 (16.1%) and over 55 (18.2%) were on average, averaging 12.2. working as a business journalist for years. The majority of journalists (91.6%) state that they work for print / digital publications, while the rest state that they work for a cable service, television, radio or other media, including the self-employed.

80.8% were white, 4.7% were black, 5.5% were Asian / Pacific, and 4.7% were multi-racial.

The Reynolds Center has approached business journalists across the country from major publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, the New York Times and Bloomberg News, as well as smaller regional newspapers and media organizations, including each of American City Business’s 42 publications. Magazines. In addition, the Reynolds Center partnered with SABEW to invite more than 2,500 members to participate.

The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism was established in 2003 with the goal of improving the quality of business and economic media. The Reynolds Center is part of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

For more information about the Reynolds Center Salary Survey, please contact: [email protected]

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