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The Pay Jump

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by journalist4life, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. I have been at my weekly paper for a year now. I took the job right of college and was ecstatic when I got it. Now I am ready to move on. The weekly is in the Northern Virginia area and has a large circulation (30k) and is considered the best paper in the 15+ papers in the chain.

    Pay was what I expected, 25k, average to below average benefits. Going into this first job I fully expected this. But after a year I am ready to make real people money. I have discovered my paper pays about 3-5K less than others in the area for reporters just out of college. I am looking at an editor job at another weekly in the area, what pay should I expect from them?

    For those who say "people are at weeklies for a reason" you my friend must have gotten all the breaks in the world. I have applied to several dailies, including The Post and The Baltimore Sun, and every one says the same thing. They think my resume is outstanding, but they are looking for someone with more experience at a daily or someone who has been in the business longer.

    I just want to make enough money to live in the NoVa area. I have been offered a pair of jobs outside of journalism that will double and triple my salary, but I turned them down because 1) It was not a good fit for me and 2) At this point in my life I want to be a journalist.

    So thoughts on what kind of pay I should expect?
  2. Bears00

    Bears00 Member

    In the first four paragraphs making more money seems to be the main issue for you, then you say you turned down jobs outside of the field that would have paid double or triple.

    Fact is, unless you a fucking stud, you won't get paid "real money" until you've been around for awhile. Should have taken on of those other jobs if you wanted to make real money.
  3. I don't want to make "real money" I want to make enough to "just get by". If I wanted the big $$$ I would have taken the other offers. If you live in Bum Fuck you have no idea about what it cost to live in this area, hence the real money comment. In NoVa making over 35k would allow you to just get by.
  4. No doubt there are some good people at weeklies who simply haven't gotten a break. People at "weekly's" might be there for a reason though.
  5. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Also those who can't spell "ecstatic," "friend," and "experience."
  6. Satchel Pooch

    Satchel Pooch Member

    Can you give us a hint about the types of jobs you turned down that were paying more?
  7. It's a message board, not a spelling bee board.

    Gov't job, CIA job and PR job.
  8. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    It's also a journalism board. And we're kind of picky about, you know, getting things right and all.

    And my advice: take the good-paying jobs if money is at all important to you (especially if you want to live where you're at), even if money is the No. 9 priority on your list. (No. 9, No. 9, No. 9 ...) It'll "benefit" you for the future, and you can always come back to journalism and make less money if you don't like those other fields. But get while the gettin's good, IMO.
  9. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    You want real people money in this business? hehe

    Seriously, you may have to move to another area. I'm not sure if there are any small dailies near where you are (it's been a while since I was in NoVa).

    And frankly, your comment about anybody who says you belong at a weekly must have gotten every break in the world probably isn't the best way to ask for help. I think most of us are open-minded enough not to judge you based on the fact that you are at a weekly now. Everybody has to start somewhere.

    Keep plugging away and if you have the skills, you'll get your break eventually.
  10. My advice would be to take one of the gov't jobs and just freelance on the side to keep your interest.

    If you want to move up, you probably need to be willing to move. Isolatiing yourself to one area is not going to help you make "real people money". So expand your search area if you want to stay in the biz.
  11. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    I don't know what to expect in your area, but when changing jobs in journalism (or this could apply to any other profession), I once had a boss tell me, "I don't move unless I'm making at least $5K more a year." I think that's a pretty fair standard.
  12. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    You said you make 25k, and you'll turn down offers at 75k to stay in journalism? I wouldn't have been so noble back in the day.
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