More great analysis of journalist salaries from Ebyline, whose Susan Johnston and Peter Beller report on reporters’ “lost decade.” Hacks’ median incomes outperformed U.S. median incomes from 2001-2008, Johnston and Beller write, but they plunged below that figure in 2008 and are leveling off well below it.
By last year reporters were making 8%, or almost $3,000, less than the typical American, not chump change. This rapid, recent undoing of a decade’s worth of gains looks a lot like the portfolio returns of many U.S. stock market investors who saw all of their profits from the long, slow tech-bubble rebound wiped out from 2007 to 2009 in what market pundits have dubbed a lost decade.
The median reporter salary in 2011 was $31,580, which is $2,880 less than the median salary of $34,460. Johnston and Beller relied on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But here’s where stats get confusing: The U.S. Census reported journalists’ median salaries were $50,000. A Georgetown University study published this year found median incomes for people with journalism degrees ranged from $32,000 annually for recent grads to $66,000 for people with graduate degrees. Not long ago, Johnston used BLS data to find the highest median incomes for journalists by state and found that Florida was a pretty swell place for reporters while Wyoming stinks on ice.
The clear lesson: Study petroleum engineering and blog on the side.