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Nonprofit journalism jobs continue growth in compensation, study finds 

October 10, 2022

Compensation for nonprofit journalism jobs has increased over the past two years, according to a study released today by the Institute for Nonprofit News. The INN Member Compensation Study shows that salaries for editorial positions have grown significantly, with the average reporter salary jumping to $82,943 from $58,858 in 2020, when the first study was conducted. Benefits have markedly increased, too, with 86% of news organizations offering paid time off, compared with just over half in 2020. 

“Put simply, the financial benefits of working for a nonprofit news organization in the INN Network have gotten better over time, and they compare favorably with advertised compensation packages at comparably sized legacy media outlets,” said Jonathan Kealing, INN’s chief network officer. 

CT Mirror Publisher Bruce Putterman discusses revenue strategy with a member of the development team. CT Mirror was one of the 115 organizations that participated in the Compensation Study. Photo by Yehyun Kim for CT Mirror

The one area where salaries remained steady or even dipped slightly was for leadership roles, suggesting that organizations are choosing to prioritize investment in reporting.

The size of the INN Network has grown rapidly over the past few years, to more than 400 independent news organizations in 49 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and parts of the Caribbean and Canada.

Study highlights

Room for improvement

About the study

More than one-quarter (115) of the INN Network’s 400 news publishers took the survey on which the compensation study is based. These included 47 organizations that cover local news, 33 covering a state or region and 29 covering national and/or global issues.

The participating outlets had an average operating budget of $2.07 million (up from $1.87 million in 2020) and an average of 14 full-time employees (up from 13). The average age of the organizations dropped slightly, from 13 to 12 years, likely reflecting the influx of startups. (Across the entire INN Network, 30% of newsrooms have budgets of $1 million or more.)

At the request of INN members, more jobs were added to the survey, for a total of 16 positions:

Copies of the INN Member Compensation Study are available for purchase, with a sliding scale for members. Please see this page for details.

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