Average Starting Salary At Small Dailies: $318 Per Week p.75

By: MARK FITZGERALD WELCOME TO THE world of small daily newspapers, class of 1997: Here's your first weekly paycheck of $318.54 before taxes.
Don't spend it all in one place.
Reporters fresh out of college will be offered an average annual starting salary of $16,564.20, or about $8.40 an hour based on a 37-hour workweek, according to the latest salary survey of dailies under 25,000 circulation from Illinois State University assistant professor of communications Mike Shelly.
That's the average.
Thirty-six percent are offering salaries below $16,000 and just one paper among the 50 dailies responding to Shelly's survey starts reporters at more than $25,000.
Shelly has been surveying daily newspaper starting salaries since 1986. Over that time, he has watched the salaries paid new reporters drop below even those offered to new hires in radio ? traditionally the worst-paid medium.
"I haven't surveyed radio salaries in a while, but I was just talking to [radio industry figures] and they are paying [new hires] better than $16,000 these days," Shelly said.
"In December 1986," he added, speaking of his first survey of small dailies, "the average salary was $15,500. So it really hasn't budged over more than 10 years."
The good news for reporters in 1997 is that they can expect a 10% raise after a year on the job, the survey found.
Copy editors, according to the surveyed papers, are worth about $2,500 more annually than reporters: They can expect an average offer of $19,085.17.
Not surprisingly, only about 28% of responding editors said they think living standards for newspaper journalists have changed for the better over the last 20 years. About 30% said living standards had worsened.
?( E&P Web Site: http://www.mediainfo.com)
?(copyaright: Editor & Publisher June 21, 1997)


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