Women and minority staffers at top newspapers are paid significantly less than their male and white counterparts, according to a report from the Asian American Journalists Association's student journalism program, Voices.
The report, titled “Mind the gap: Uncovering disparity in the newsroom” was conducted by four student reporters in the program. They analyzed pay-equity studies from seven newsrooms, and interviewed nearly 30 journalists in nine newsrooms around the United States (both with and without union representation).
“White men earned the most of any demographic and held most senior high-paying positions in the newsroom,” according to their analysis. “Women of color commonly made the least.”
They gathered data from pay studies commissioned by unions at The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, Star Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle.
All of the studies were released in 2016, save for the LA Times’, which was published this April. All seven studies found that men made more than women and that white people made more than people of color.
Newsroom pay disparities often “boil down to management granting larger optional raises to men and whites than women and people of color,” according to the Voices analysis.
However, newsroom executives claim the studies were flawed because they did not take into account differences in experience.
Some of those interviewed said the newsroom reflected local demographics, or that minorities were not asking for raises.
There was a nearly $11,700 difference between the earnings of the average man and woman represented by the union at Dow Jones & Company (parent of The Wall Street Journal), for example.
The analysis also found a $18,514 difference between the salaries of the average white female staffer and the average black female staffer.
At The New York Times, men in the newsroom made $111,072 a year on average, while women made $101,556 on average, a $9,516 difference.
White people earned $109,876 a year, while people of color earned $97,136, a $12,740 average disparity.
At The Washington Post, male employees in the union made $89,932 a year on average, while women averaged $76,804, a $13,128 difference.
White reporters made 13.5% more than reporters of color. The study does not provide average salaries for the two categories.
According to a survey of 661 newsrooms by the American Society of News Editors, just 16.6% of employees were minorities in 2017.