Journalist Salary: How Much Do Journalists Make?

Passion for journalism revolves around collaborative storytelling through media and literature. An audience becomes informed through investigative, human-centered stories and enterprise pieces that ultimately give them a newer perspective. By so doing, the audience can use the information obtained to make well-informed decisions. Thus, bettering the lives of humankind as a whole. While most journalists take much pride in such achievements, others are simply in it for its financial standpoint. This piece highlights just how much each journalist makes.

Journalist Salary

While a journalist’s career can be exciting when chasing hot leads, the pay is hardly comparable to other practices like Medicine, Engineering, and Law. Nonetheless, it’s sufficient to lead an above-average life, with bills paid on time. Additionally, providing them with something extra for savings and investments. According to recent reports conducted in the US, a journalist’s salary ranges between $10.15 to $31.32 per hour. The figure sums up to about $4500 per month and $50,000 annually.

Image of a journalist
Career as Journalist.

However, these are the rough estimates centered only in the US. There exist several factors that may influence a journalist’s monthly wages. These include:

  • Country/State/Region – Each country/state comes with its tax levies and sanctions that may drastically affect the remittance and profits of an organization. For example, Washington records some of the highest journalist salaries, while Arkansas and Mississippi have the least $33,000 per year.


  • Recruiting Firm – Known media stations such as CNN, NBC, Aljazeera that cover worldwide news are known to dish out better wages than other firms such as TMZ and gossip blogs.


  • Level of Experience – The salary scale hierarchy, like most jobs, begin from starting level journalists, junior and mid-level journalist, and finally to senior and top-level journalists that can earn up to $31.32 by the hour.


  • Area of Specialization – Journalists can decide to specialize in several related careers that can increase their salary percentile. These include professions such as editing, translating, proofreading, content managing, and more. At the same time, they may also specialize in a specific niche of reporting such as sports, politics, gossip, travel, photos, and more. Here is the breakdown of some of the top earners by category.

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