Thursday, September 11, 2008

Starting Gazette Salary in Perspective

We have attracted significant amounts of offline comment on our Gazette series, most of which we will address tomorrow. But one subject that appalls many is the starting salary for Gazette reporters: $26,500. Below we compare that salary to other annual occupational pay rates in the Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick Metropolitan Division (which includes Montgomery and Frederick Counties) as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Two quick notes:

1. As we reported in Crisis Part Two, Gazette reporters receive a $500 pay increase after six months and a $1,000 increase after one year. But unlike the vast majority of workers in the other occupations listed above, they are not paid overtime.

2. While we do not have the data, it would be interesting to compare the post-college debt load of workers in the above occupations. Gazette reporters are usually recent college graduates - a demographic cohort with heavy educational debt.

Can't the $4 billion-dollar-a-year Washington Post Company afford to pay these highly-educated, skilled workers more than security guards?