The 2015 journalist pay Survey

 

A while back, The Press reporter and columnist Cecile Meier pointed out that journalists work in a vacuum when it comes to pay, so we decided to put together an anonymous pay survey, primarily to help give younger journos a guide as to what their peers were earning, and to give them an indication of where they were at. 

Media professionals filled out a form asking their age, salary, years of experience, gender, position, job type, benefits, media type, and what they thought they should be earning. There were 173 respondents across TV, radio, web, magazines, and newspapers. Respondents were gathered via social media, and the overwhelming majority were aged between 20 and 39. We broke up the dozens of different job titles into broad categories (see Who Replied? chart below).

Sociologist Jarrod Gilbert and Ben Elley at Independent Research Solutions then analysed the results and provided us with some commentary, and Harkanwal Singh at the New Zealand Herald made us a visualisation of actual pay vs. expected pay for male and female. 

And for your interest, here are some other rather depressingly titled New Zealand journalism surveys: 

The Big New Zealand Journalism Survey: Underpaid, under-trained, under-resourced, unsure about the future -  but still idealistic, James Hollings, Geoff Lealand, Alan Samson, and Elspeth Tilley, Pacific Journalism Review, 2007.

Survey of New Zealand journalists: They enjoy the job, despite everything, Grant Hannis, James Hollings, Karl Pajo, Geoff Lealand, Ejournalist, 2014.

Feedback and ideas for improvement are welcome, and if you'd like to play with the data, please email read@featured.org.nz. 


results

By gender

-        Male respondents were higher paid with an average of $61230, but had a much higher average of 10 years of experience.

-        Female respondents were lower paid with an average of $54949, but had a much lower average of 5.8 years of experience.

-        This indicates that in general men are better paid, but also that those who have been in the industry for a long time tend to be men.

-        Of those two earning $100,000 or more, both were male.

-        Three women earned $90,000 (and no higher), while four men earned $90,000 or more.

Under 29

-        Younger male respondents were paid an average of $46,090, and had an average of 3.31 years of experience.

-        Younger female respondents were paid an average of $49,066, and had an average of 3 years of experience.

-        This indicates that among the younger generation of journalists, women are better paid in general, and better paid relative to their level of experience.

Over 29

-        Older male respondents were paid an average of $74,630, and had an average of 15.3 years of experience.

-        Older female respondents were paid an average of $62968, and had an average of 9.3 years of experience.

-        This indicates that among the older generation of journalists, men are better paid in general, but also have more experience.

Reporters (includes TV, radio, web, print)

-        Male reporters were generally paid higher, with an average pay of $57,637, but also had a higher average of 8.7 years of experience.

-        Female reporters were generally paid less, with an average pay of $51,703, but also had a lower average of 4.6 years of experience.

-        This meant that female reporters were paid a significantly larger amount for each year of experience, but this finding may be skewed substantially by the much higher average experience of male respondents (low-earning young respondents were paid more per year of experience, so having a larger number of older respondents in one broad-ranging category skews the data).

Unions

-        108 respondents were non-union, while only 53 were in a union.

-        Younger respondents appeared equally likely to be in a union, with 49 non-union and 25 union members.

-        Union respondents were paid an average of $54,851, and had an average of 7.61 years of experience.

-        Non-union respondents were paid an average of $58,355, and had an average of 7.31 years of experience.

Union reporters

-        76 reporters were non-union, while only 42 were union.

-        Union reporters were paid an average of $52,444, and had an average of 7 years of experience.

-        Non-union reporters were paid an average of $54,572, and had an average of 6 years of experience.

-        This indicates that non-union reporters are slightly better paid in general, but significantly better paid relative to their level of experience.


Age

Most respondents were aged between 21 and 39.

Who replied?

Most were reporters

Gender

More women replied than men.

Union membership

More were not in a union than in one.

Type of media

Most respondents worked in both print and digital

Area covered

Most respondents said they reported nationally, though this is difficult to quantify these days - in modern newsrooms every reporter is a national reporter depending on the story.