Everyone knows that the Internet has changed everything, right? And everyone knows print (as an industry, overall, save for a few stars) is struggling. But, while we were all bragging via Twitter on our iPhones about our loyal subscription to such-and-such print mag while simultaneously reading 1984 on our Kindles, we forget that journalism is not just an abstract idea manifested in HTML and ink but an actual industry composed of living, breathing people. And that's why Folio magazine's annual Editorial Salary Survey is a very real reminder that editors at all levels are feeling the burden of this incredibly uncertain period in the history of the written word on a deadline.
We're certainly not the only ones to notice — lots of news outlets have picked up on the upsetting fact that male editors-in-chief make over $15,000 more than their female counterparts, on average. So much for closing the gender gap. Given the fact that women's magazines pull in a giant chunk of revenue across the board, it's particularly unfortunate that women themselves aren't reaping the benefits from all that cash. But, that's not the only disconcerting fact worth noting in this thorough, scientific survey.
Editorial positions are and always have been notorious for breaking the boundaries of the 9-to-5 without blinking an eyelash, but staffers at all levels are working harder than ever. One survey participant even noted that there is "absolutely not enough time to accomplish all my acquired tasks or the resources to help," and this sentiment (echoed in many other responses) rang particularly true for print publications.
Print editors are taking on more and more responsibility and managing online channels in addition to overseeing their pages. We are of course of the mind that those channels should be treated as equally important as the pub they're anchored to, even if the publication originally started out as print-only. Call us crazy, but eliminating head counts and adding to job responsibilities without actually remunerating a person for that work has never been a tenable long-term solution — for any industry. (Folio)
So, everyone's stressed and women are still receiving unequal salaries for equal efforts. Awesome. But, if you want more than just the major takeaways, here are a few other tidbits that are slightly less earth-shattering but still worth noticing:
If you work more, you make less. Sorta. Okay, that's an over-simplification of the issue, but it is worth nothing that your hourly wage (all other things equal, which they rarely are) technically, on average, goes down, as you work longer hours and earn a higher salary. That said, if you've ever come idly number-crunched in an EA job, coming to realize that your yearly salary breaks down to less than minimum wage (oversimplification, we know, but just try and pretend you haven't done it) given the number of hours you work, at least it gets better: Editors working 40+ hours/week made around $42/hour. And also, yes, there still are people in this world who work 40-hour weeks. Maybe that could be you one day....
You don't have to go to grad school to make it big in media. If you're stuck in a rut and you're thinking grad school is the answer, think again. It's still necessary in some fields but, according to this study, a post-grad degree of some kind only results in an $8,000 difference in salary. Nothing to sneeze at, but that's a really slow pace when it comes to paying back hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans.
NYC is the place to be. Editors in the New York City area made a whopping $49,300 more than their counterparts outside of the metro area, on average. Even taking into account the cost of living in the Big Apple, that's a major bonus.
Photographed by by Sara Haile