Let’s talk about journalism salaries

Here’s an excuse to ask your coworkers how much they make. Introducing Journo Salary Sharer.

Have you ever stared at that “Desired Salary” box on a job application and just felt clueless and powerless?

Especially for newer jobs in journalism, it’s hard to know what to expect in terms of pay.

Even though journalists are supposed to be comfortable asking the hard questions, it may be intimidating to start a conversation about salaries, especially when you’re job hunting and feeling vulnerable.

But salary transparency is coming into vogue, and that’s got the potential to benefit a lot of people — including you.

I’m a graduate student in social journalism, and as part of my effort to serve journalists with my work, I’ve built a salary-sharing tool (along with invaluable help from Jue Yang).

Journo Salary Sharer has two parts:

The first part is a survey. A standard, anonymous survey where report how much you make, how much experience you have in your field, what size company you work for, etc.

The second part is the starting the conversation. You tell me how comfortable you are talking about how much you make, and I recommend some ways for you to start those conversations without going too far outside your comfort zone. I even include some optional Twitter-size text for you to use, if you’d like.

This tool is built to be your excuse to bring the salary topic up with coworkers.

Once enough people fill out the survey, I’ll share what I find back with you, both here on Medium and in an email (if you choose to sign up for that).

And along the way, if you’re in a bind and really need to know what to ask for when applying for a new job, feel free to shoot me an email and I’ll see if I can help you out.

So please, take the survey, share it around, and more importantly, consider talking with people you know about how much they make and how they negotiated for it.

Some recent articles about what happens when workers talk about their salaries:

NEXT: Update about Journo Salary Sharer — 2,500 responses! (8/14/15)