Survey: Business journalists in the United States earn more than their counterparts

June 15, 2022

Business journalists in the United States earn nearly $ 18,000, or 37 percent, more than their peers, according to a recent study by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism.

The Reynolds Center revived its annual survey of business journalists’ salaries, last published in 2012, and expanded the survey this year to include demographics. One of the long-term goals of the study is to promote the attractiveness of business journalism careers among college and high school students to help diversify business news and better represent the communities it serves.

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Overall, news analysts, reporters and journalists earn $ 48,370 a year, according to the latest average data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of the 63.9% of business journalists surveyed who said they were reporters / correspondents, the average annual salary was $ 66,204, well above the average journalist’s salary. In addition to boasting higher pay, business journalists report that they specialize in a wide range of topics from ordinary beats such as markets, real estate, restaurants and the local economy to lesser-known areas such as government budgets, energy, energy. sports, outer space and even reporting on the cannabis industry.

“The news business has been tough for decades, but business news is more important than ever and in a world of supply chain disruption and inflation is affecting us all. We need smart, understanding business journalists to help us navigate this complex world, ”said Jeffrey Timmermans, Donald W. Reynolds, Gifted President of Business Journalism, Professor of Practice and Director of the Reynolds Center.

Chart showing the average annual salary for business reporters and editors

“What’s more, there are a lot of great jobs in business journalism right now – and as our research shows, they pay better than typical reporting jobs,” Timmermans said.

The Society for the Advancement of Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) provided key support for this study by disseminating it to its members.

“SABEW is encouraged by competitive salaries for business journalists, who play an important role in providing comprehensive coverage of economic events.” said Kathleen Graham, CEO of SABEW. “We are grateful to the Reynolds Center for the comparative analysis of wages and demographics in the industry. The results of the survey reflect the continuing need for mentoring, recruiting, retaining and promoting diversity in editorial and business coverage. Bridging the gender pay gap, increasing the number of colored journalists and promoting an inclusive newsroom culture remains a high priority for the largest business journalists’ association.

More than half of the respondents, 53%, identify themselves as women, which illustrates the strong performance of women in business journalism. Unfortunately, the average salary of women reporters / correspondents lags behind men by $ 9,167, with women earning $ 62,498 compared to $ 71,665 for men. This pay gap remains at a higher level of editing and management positions, with women editors or managers earning an average of $ 79,996 compared to $ 101,997 for men. The combined average income for editors and managers in business reporting is reported at $ 98,331. However, when comparing wages to years of experience, women have earned higher wages in less work time, illustrating that the gender pay gap may narrow in the coming years.

Graph showing the average years of experience in relation to the annual salary of male and female business journalists

“There has been some improvement in gender, but there is still a long way to go to reduce the pay gap. In general, the lack of diversity in business journalism remains a serious problem, “Timmermans said. “We need a body of business journalists that truly reflects the community they serve – this is essential to make business journalism suitable for the widest possible audience.”

A total of 236 journalists from 36 states responded to a poll conducted between May 13 and May 25. Just over half of respondents reported from six states: New York (17.4%), California (8.5%), Florida (7.6). %), Washington (7.2%), Texas (6.4%) and Michigan (4.7%).

The age of the respondents varies from 18–24 (9.8%), 25–34 (35.6%), 35–44 (19.5%), 45–54 (16.1%) and 55+ (18, 2%), with an average grade of 12.2 years working as a business journalist. The majority of journalists (91.6%) say they work for print / digital publications, while the rest work for television, television, radio or other media, including freelancers.

The racial background of the respondents in the survey was 80.8% white, 4.7% black, 5.5% Asian / Pacific Islanders and 4.7% multiracial.

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

The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism was established in 2003 to improve the quality of media coverage of business and the economy. The Reynolds Center is housed in Walter Cronkite’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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

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