Posted by: CJ | April 16, 2009

Journalist pay

Kevin Drum has a post asking about journalist pay. I’d like to second the curiosity. I realize that there are probably vastly different pay rates between local newspapers and new shows versus national ones…but it still doesn’t seem like a job that would be that lucrative. Especially given how poorly economics and political news seems to have been covered for ages.

All the more reason that I’m happy for the newspaper industry to be in decline, if they were paying that much for that crappy a product.

But still…the question remains what will newspapers be replaced with? I trust the bloggers I read to give me useful context, facts, and theory above and beyond what any newspaper could possibly print. Though we still need something newspaper-like as a starting point. So an important is how much of the paper would retain its usefulness, to the degree that I would pay, if we just cut out existing things and tried to up the quality of what’s left?

One potential answer is that all papers should become much more local, specializing more in what they have access to. So state political news is reported by the papers in the state capital, national news is reported by DC papers, etc.. And then just completely ditch the editorial pages. I’m not going to pay people I’m unfamiliar with to spout off their opinion. Blogs do it better and for free.

And, of course, maybe journalists should be paid less. It’s hard to have a clue until I see some statistics.


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