Seth Gordon (sethg_prime) wrote in little_details,
Seth Gordon
sethg_prime
little_details

career/income arc of a journalist

Setting: Boston area, contemporary (same AU as my previous post)

I have read that it is basically impossible these days to enter a career in journalism if you don’t have wealthy parents, because the money that newspapers and magazines pay their cub reporters (if they pay anything at all) is not enough to live on. But what happens after the reporter graduates from cub-hood? What kinds of beats would they cover as they rise through the ranks over about 15 years (this essay, for example, suggests that the standard advice is to spend three years as a local paper, then switch to a national paper), and what income would they be pulling in at every stage? If an experienced reporter wanted/needed to move to a higher-paying corporate job, what positions would they be suited for and how much of an income bump would they expect from it?

Related: I’m about 2/3 of the way through reading Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class, and one of the things that strikes me is that the people the author mentions as belonging to this class are pretty much exclusively in medicine, law, or business/finance. There are prominent newspaper publishers in this class, but I didn’t notice any journalists per se. Is “use the family wealth to subsidize your cub-reporter kid” not merely an upper-class thing, but a white upper-class thing? Or is such behavior equally rare among all ethnic groups?
Tags: usa (misc), ~journalism
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