Update about Journo Salary Sharer — 2,500 responses!

More than 2,500 journalists have shared their salaries using Journo Salary Sharer so far. The best part is hearing stories of how this has started discussions in your newsrooms or with your friends about salaries.

Starting Monday, I’m going to begin sharing my first takeaways from the survey results. That doesn’t mean you should stop sharing the survey — please, continue to send it to others and encourage them to share their salaries.

The posts next week will talk about what the responses to the survey show so far, starting with the most common job titles. Here’s my plan for the coming week:

Monday: Reporters
Tuesday: Editors
Wednesday: Producers
Thursday: Copy editors
Friday: Social media/audience engagement

Each day’s post will go up here on Medium and out in an email. (If you’d like to sign up for emails, you can do that here.)

My goal for the week after that is to tackle video, photo, developers, and all stripes of designers (print, web, graphics, etc.). So far, I’ve heard from only a few folks working in each of those categories. I’d love your help encouraging folks from this side of the newsroom to weigh in and share their salaries.

Here’s how I’m handling all the information you’ve shared with me. First off, I’m not selling the data to anyone. My goal is to share what’s useful from the responses back with those who responded; that’s it, no hidden agenda.

Now, here’s my process for cleaning and analyzing the data:

  1. When you fill out the survey, your information is stored in a Google Spreadsheet.
  2. From there, I use Excel and Google Refine to remove duplicate entries and obvious trolls (h/t to the person who said their title was “King”) and to standardize job titles — such as taking EIC, Editor-in-Chief, editor in chief and Editor in Chief and making them all Editor in Chief.
  3. In Excel, I do some pivot table dances and lots of “=MEDIAN()” formulas about each category (Reporting, Editing, Photo, etc.) and each popular job title (Senior Editor, Investigative Reporter, News Apps Developer). I’m looking at how the median salary is different for people with different levels of experience, in places with higher/lower costs of living, and in big companies vs. smaller companies.
  4. Finally, I have two very capable and kind people double-check my process: The first is Amanda Hickman, a data journalist and former professor of mine. The second is Justin Myers, my husband, who also happens to have worked in data journalism.

There are serious limitations to this project — and I want to be upfront with you about those. This is not a scientific study; it’s not a random sample; salaries are self-reported; and in some cases the sample size is very small. In each update, I will tell you the sample size (how many responses), and I’ll tell you if there’s anything weird about the data. I think you’ll find these salary responses useful to know, but it’s certainly not comprehensive or perfect.

So, I’ll see you here on Monday with some information about reporter salaries. In the meantime, please keep these salary conversations going. It’s been exciting getting coverage from Nieman Lab and Poynter — but what’s more exciting is when individual journalists (like you!) have started talking about pay on social media or IRL with coworkers. My parting ask: Could you share Journo Salary Sharer with one more person — especially if you know someone on the visual and technical sides of the newsroom?

Next ⇛: Journo Salary Sharer: How much do reporters make? (8/17/15)

⇚ Earlier: Let’s talk about journalism salaries (8/7/15)

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