The Front Page: All the salaries fit to print

It’s Friday, February 11th. 

If meager salaries weren’t bad enough in the journalism industry, countless companies won’t even share their estimated pay ranges with potential applicants, despite proof that salary transparency can advance DEI efforts.

Some have fought back against this trend, from a collaborative spreadsheet with more than 2,000 media salary entries to Writers of Color’s pay transparency callouts on Twitter. And last week, Victoria Walker kicked off a salary sharing trend after tweeting her previous pay as a senior travel reporter with The Points Guy.

Yet, when Walker’s position was posted on LinkedIn, the company provided a pay range of $60,000 to 90,000 annually—$17,000 less than Walker’s previous salary and $25,000 short of her suggested compensation.

Similarly, when asked if he would share his salary after promoting his newsroom’s salary-sharing series, Insider’s Global Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Carlson refused, saying it felt “a little wimpy, but very prudent.” Notably, the Insider series aims to demystify salaries and promote transparency. 

Efforts to even the scales are well-intentioned and appreciated by many, but swift, sustainable change requires action by those in positions of power. Though some states require employers to post a salary range, voluntary top-down transparency from institutions and individuals with hiring power can send a message of continued support. 

In the last two weeks, The 19th* shared two positions and included starting salaries and benefits, and Nikole Hannah-Jones, now establishing the Center for Journalism and Democracy at Howard University, posted the starting pay for the Center’s executive director. Still, many legacy outlets remain complacent when they could set precedent necessary for industry-wide change.

This issue is by Holly Rosewood with editing by Curtis Yee

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A Bit More Media

Q&A: Disabled Writers — In our most recent Q&A, we asked Disabled Writers’ s.e. smith about the organization’s database of disabled writers and sources, pay transparency, and how news leaders can support the disability community: “Actually hiring disabled people as staff writers, not freelancers, and building out disability as an explicit beat, are both very important.”

Why is environmental journalism so white? — For Study HallAdam Willems breaks down the climate beat’s “pipelines of exclusion,” which shut out nonwhite journalists. Environmental journalists who spoke with Willems say changes to the industry’s business model, putting a focus on local reporting, and employing non-white journalists could improve the beat and, ultimately, our understanding of climate change.

Building Capital B — Capital B CEO and co-founder Lauren Williamsin an interview with Nilay Patel, shared how the team raised funds to support the newsroom’s mission. In March 2021, The Objective spoke with co-founders Williams and Akoto Ofori-Atta about Capital B’s origins and editorial vision.

About that reckoning — The Medill Local News Initiative (and Poynter) recently said that journalists reported “notable changes” related to diversity in their newsrooms, but there’s a catch: 86.9% of survey respondents were white. Journalists were quick to point out the survey’s questionable methodology.

Time to get personal — To better resonate with readers on climate change issues, journalists shouldn’t be afraid to write in first person, says Los Angeles Times’ Sammy Roth. To properly express the urgency of the crisis, it’s up to journalists to forgo bothsidesism and present the realities. 

“Low-seven figures” — The New York Times announced at the end of January that it had acquired Wordle, a daily puzzle game created by software engineer Josh Wardle. The purchase price hasn’t been disclosed, but the Times has shared it was “in the low-seven figures.” Yet, as many have noted, the company wouldn’t spend $300,000 on Wirecutter employees’ raises.


Stay Up To Date 

6 days until … Using Academic Research to Keep Politicians Honest, a free training from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center. Attendees will learn the basics of finding and analyzing research articles in order to hold elected officials accountable.

7 days until … the NAJA-NBC News Summer Fellowship application deadline. The paid fellowship is open to NAJA members currently enrolled at a U.S. college or university and starts in June. 

7 days until … applications close for The REST Summit: A Mental Health Symposium for Nonfiction Video Storytellers. 150 people will be selected to attend the five-day program in March.

12 days until … Unequal Health Systems: Anti-Black Racism and the Threat to American Health. The Center for Health Journalism hosts this webinar on health disparities and potential solutions.

13 days until … applications and nominations close for the IWMF Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award. Women, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming journalists are eligible. 


A few more resources

For your portfolio website: If you identify as a journalist with a background historically underrepresented in journalism, Authory will provide you with a free one-year account to back up your articles (a $96 value). 

Looking for a job? Here are a few places to look: INN | ONA | | 10 Jobs and a Dog | NABJ | AAJA | NAHJ | NLGJA | @WritersofColor | MEO Jobs | Freelance Journalist Rates | Source Jobs | Opportunities of the Week ($)   

How about a style guide? Trans Journalist Association | Diversity Style Guide | Tribal Nations Media Guide | NABJ Style Guide | Disability Language Style Guide | AAJA Guide to Covering Asian Pacific America | NAHJ Cultural Competence Handbook 

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