Recently, I went looking for reliable data on local and regional public media journalists’ salaries and came up frustratingly short. Here’s what I found:
- The CPB salary survey is no longer readily available.
- My friend and colleague Mike Marcotte was commissioned to do an extensive salary survey in 2010, which he updated in 2015 based on the inflation rate, but even those numbers are out of date now.
- RTNDA’s annual local newsroom salary survey groups public and commercial stations together. The most recent report says noncommercial salaries are almost 50% higher, so the median and average numbers aren’t too helpful for public media employers.
There’s no doubt it’s time for a new system-wide comprehensive salary study, but in the meantime, I decided to do a little research of my own.
I created an informal survey and shared it through my mailing list and Twitter feed, as well as on several public media Facebook pages. Between February 19 and March 7 of this year, 121 people from over 70 public media stations and collaboratives took the survey. While not scientific, its results provide a snapshot of the situation on the ground.