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Will this business ever wise up and pay better?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pringle, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    I have really been wondering this lately, as I ponder my long-term prospects in the business.

    It just seems that after a while, bright people want to be compensated for being bright. Suffering for your art seems noble at 22. Not at 30 or 35 with a wife, two kids and a dog.

    I know so many people who got out to go to law school and other routes to higher-paying jobs.

    Will the people in charge of the business be alarmed enough to start paying reporting talent?
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I don't think it's going to get any better. Maybe you can train the dog to like the taste of publishers.
  3. MC Sports Guy

    MC Sports Guy Member

    God, I hope so.

    But the reality is, probably not. I have similar thoughts now,even at 26. My wife and I have designs on starting a family, and already have the dog. It's just tough to justify continuing to make this salary, even at a job I love, when I could make more doing something I like less, thereby giving my family financial security. It's a damn-near impossible situation to rectify.
  4. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    I think teaching is in the same boat. These are two institutions that people hold dear and want to trust. But they won't pay enough for really gifted people, particularly at the local level.

    At least teaching has some lifestyle benefits like time off and regular hours (of course, they have to bring work home a lot, too).
  5. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

  6. BYH

    BYH Active Member


    Damnit, Fishwrapper beat me to it.
  7. ajw1978

    ajw1978 New Member

    At 30, I've pretty much given up. I've got a morgtage, insurance, bills, (all the stuff everybody has), and now I'm paying to go back to school. I'm making more money freelancing and working part-time elsewhere than i would if I took a full-time gig writing somewhere.

    It's hilarious hearing my better half bitch about making 45k/year as a teacher. She bitches about having to correct papers at night. Ummm, 45 a year for nine months of work? I'll gladly trade that for the thrll of making 23/year for 60 hour weeks and no overtime or holidays.
  8. cougargirl

    cougargirl Active Member

    I like to think that by 30, someone in this industry finds his or her niche or finds him or herself at a crossroads and has to make the decision what to do next. For some people I know, that means becoming a desker/sports editor. For others, it means being firmly planted at a desirable destination where the pay is good.

    And for others, they get out. They can't take the low pay, the hours, the abuse and decide that there's another path for them. And usually there is.

    Then again, I've also seen that happen to people much earlier in their careers - one of the most promising reporters I knew left the business five years after she graduated from college because she couldn't take covering high school sports any longer for such little pay.

    The decisions and motivations to leave are all relative, and it's not necessarily about pay. But no, sadly, I don't forsee the status quo in regards to pay changing.
  9. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    My rule of thumb since graduating was to earn at least as much as my numerical age. If no, seeya. I'll go do something else.
  10. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    No offense, but you have 677 posts and are actually asking this question?
  11. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    What Norm said.

    I mean, not to be rude, but the question is predicated on the idea that publishers really care about the quality of what goes between the ads in the paper, and care enough in the marginal difference between "OK" and "really good," to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars it would take to get there, to pay newspaper reporters salaries in a manner comparable to what someone with their skills could command in other professions. And this in an industry where the economic model is falling apart and there are far more candidates than jobs.
    Unfortunately, in most cases, there's no reason to believe that they do. So I can't see how the answer is anything but no, which sucks.
  12. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    Why don't we unionize in more places?

    Because of what you said - more candidates than jobs?
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