Newsflash: Journalists Don’t Make Money

In case you missed it, reported on the seven lowest-paying jobs that require a college education and surprise, surprise, journalism not only made the list but topped it.

For the journalist who had Ramen Noodles for lunch and dinner, this comes as no surprise. Journalists don’t do it for the money; we just wish we did.

According to the story, first-year reporters can make less than $20,000 a year. Yep, sounds about right. And to rub salt in the wound, “On top of the low wages, many may consider journalism an undesirable field to go into because of diminishing job prospects.”

I’m sure this goes for most journalists but I thought I knew what I was getting into when I choose to go into journalism. I knew I wasn’t going to live a life full of “champagne wishes and caviar dreams.”

But instead of complaining, journalists bear down and make lifestyle changes to adjust for the near-the-poverty-line pay. Journalists typically drive the same car they drove in college (and sometimes high school), they steal internet from their neighbors, they sneak in soda cups into McDonald’s for free refills, they live on the 99-cent menu, and they upgrade their wardrobe every presidential election.

Sure, journalism isn’t rewarding when it comes to that paycheck but there’s a reason why we stick with the job – we couldn’t imagine doing anything else.  That and we never heard back from that PR job.

I guess we’re at the bottom of the bottom 99 percent.


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  1. Lindsey says:

    “There’s a reason we stick with the job–we couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” is exactly why I don’t mind that my boyfriend makes more yearly as an assistant store manager at Starbucks than I do as an associate editor at a trade magazine. I worked at Starbucks two years after graduating college with my journalism degree and was offered promotions, but I turned them down in order to work free internships so I could get where I am now.

  2. Roman noodles? What are those? Are they any cheaper than Ramen noodles? God knows every penny I save could go towards new reporter notepads.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Ramen noodles. That’s all.

  4. Erin says:

    This is all completely true. And I hate my neighbor for having such a slow internet connection. Cheapskate. :P

  5. Andy Boyle says:
  6. Kathryn says:

    I kept waiting and waiting for money to show up and now I understand why it never did. Also, Ramen noodles are yummy.


  1. [...] “If this is the future, journalists may need to prepare for living every day like a hustle — leaning on their personal brands and piecing together a multi-stream income. But then again, we were never in it for the money.” [...]

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