Guild at LA Times Learns Harsh Reality of the Pay Gap

When I was a reporter then an editor at the LA Times, among the most upsetting periods in the newsroom were the occasional leaks of salary data. It always showed wide gaps in pay even among veterans and lower salaries across the board for women and people of color.

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One thought on “Guild at LA Times Learns Harsh Reality of the Pay Gap

  • April 12, 2018 at 5:20 pm
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    “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.”
    ― Mark Twain

    Statistics really don’t tell you whether you have a problem but only that you need to look deeper to see whether the problem exists. In this case my first response is, are women and non-whites the newer and less experienced employees*? The guild (who has an inherent bias) is asking us to take their statistics at face value. You can never take statistics at face value. Both sides could use the same statistics to demonstrate completely different problems or needs.

    Also it sounds like there currently is a two-tiered pay scale. It isn’t fair but with the economic conditions of newspapers they are a fact of life. Newspapers are having to reduce expenses just to stay alive. They are trying everything to reduce expenses from eliminating duplication on delivery routes, mergers, centralizing production, operations, etc. and obviously reduce or freeze salaries.

    *Please don’t interpret this as my saying there isn’t a bias present. The problem would have been the bias and discrimination 20 years ago but that is different than the problem the article is discussing and would need different research to demonstrate. You would need to look at the candidates that applied and their respective experience compared to other candidates of the time.

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