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A Reynolds Center Survey Shows US Business Journalists Enjoy a 37% Pay Premium; median salary of $66,204 in 2022

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

The Reynolds Center has relaunched its annual survey of business journalist salaries, last published in 2012, and expanded the survey this year to include demographic data. One of the long-term goals of the survey is to promote the appeal of a career in business journalism to college and high school students to help diversify business news and better represent the communities it serves. dessert.

In general, news analysts, reporters and journalists earn $48,370 a year, according to the most recent median figures released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of the 63.9% of business reporters surveyed who declared their position as a reporter/correspondent, the median annual salary was $66,204, well above the average journalist salary. In addition to earning higher pay, business reporters said they specialize in a wide range of topics ranging from common beats such as markets, real estate, restaurants and the local economy to less well-known such as state budgets, energy, sports, aerospace, and even reports on the cannabis industry.

“The news industry has had a tough few decades, but economic news is more important than ever and, in a world of supply chain disruptions and inflation, affects us all. We need smart, savvy business journalists to help us navigate this complex world,” said Dr. Jeffrey Timmermans, Donald W. Reynolds Chair of Business Journalism Professor and Director of the Reynolds Center.

“Plus, there are tons of great business journalism jobs out there right now — and as our survey shows, they pay better than typical reporting jobs,” Timmermans said.

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

“SABEW is encouraged by the competitive salaries of business journalists who play an important role in providing comprehensive reporting on economic events,” said Kathleen Graham, Executive Director of SABEW. “We are grateful to the Reynolds Center for benchmarking industry demographics and salary data. The survey results reflect the continued need to mentor, recruit, retain and promote diversity in the newsroom and in business coverage. Closing the gender pay gap, increasing the number of journalists of color and fostering inclusive newsroom cultures remain a top priority for the largest association of business journalists.

More than half of survey respondents, 53%, identified as women, illustrating a strong representation of women in business journalism. Unfortunately, the median salary of female reporters/correspondents was $9,167 lower than that of men, with women earning $62,498 compared to $71,665 for men. This pay gap persists in senior editing and management positions, with female editors or managers earning a median of $79,996 compared to $101,997 for men. A combined median income for editors and managers in corporate reporting was reported at $98,331. However, when comparing pay to years of experience, women earned higher pay for less time on the job, illustrating that the gender pay gap may narrow in future years.

“There has been some improvement on the gender front, but there is still a long way to go to close the pay gap. Overall, the lack of diversity in business journalism continues to be a serious problem,” Timmermans said. “We need a body of business journalism that truly reflects the community they serve – this is key to making business journalism relevant to the widest possible audience.”

A total of 236 reporters from 36 states responded to the survey, which was conducted between May 13 and May 25, 2022. Just over half of respondents said in six states: New York (17.4%) , California (8.5%), Florida (7.6%), Washington (7.2%), Texas (6.4%) and Michigan (4.7%).

Respondents were 18 to 24 years old (9.8%), 25 to 34 years old (35.6%), 35 to 44 years old (19.5%), 45 to 54 years old (16.1% ) and aged 55 and over (18.2%) with an average of 12.2 years. working as a business journalist. The majority of journalists (91.6%) reported working for print/digital publications, while the rest worked for a news agency, television, radio or other media, including freelancers.

The racial background of survey respondents was 80.8% White, 4.7% Black, 5.5% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 4.7% Multiracial.

The Reynolds Center reached out to business reporters across the country from major publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, New York Times and Bloomberg News, as well as smaller regional newspapers and media organizations, including each of the 42 American City Publications. Business reviews. Additionally, the Reynolds Center collaborated with SABEW to invite its 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 media coverage of business and the economy. The Reynolds Center is located inside the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

For more information about the Reynolds Center salary survey, contact reynoldscenter@gmail.com.

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