Reporters work in the news industry for print publications, TV and radio stations, and online media. They conduct interviews and research, then use that information to write stories for publication or broadcast. Some reporters cover a particular beat, such as the crime beat or local government beat. Others specialize in a particular type of news, such as business or sports. Others still are general assignment reporters, covering a range of beats and stories.
The average annual salary for a reporter is $43,640 a year or $20.98 an hour, according to data published in May 2011 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of reporters earn $75,420 or more a year, while the bottom 10 percent earn as little as $20,000 a year or less.
The salary for a reporter depends on a number of factors, including the size of a publication or website's readership and a broadcast station's audience. The bigger the medium, the more the reporter is likely to earn. A junior reporter at a large company might make more than a senior reporter at a small one. Experience also plays a factor in pay. Reporters with many years in the profession tend to earn more than their less experienced counterparts. Reporters can also earn extra money by performing extra duties, such as writing a column or blog in addition to their regular news articles.
The Broadcast Bonus:
Television reporters typically earn more than their print and online counterparts. That's partly because a good TV newsperson needs more than just decent reporting and writing skills to be successful. He also needs a good voice, a nice appearance, and the ability to deliver his material smoothly and clearly under intense deadlines and extreme circumstances, such as when he's out in the field reporting on a tropical storm. These skills tend to command a higher wage than the skills needed to be an effective print or online reporter. Reporters in the radio and television broadcasting industry make a mean annual wage of $51,410, according to the BLS, while those in the newspaper and publishing industry make $39,130 on average.
Relevance of Location:
Where reporters work can dramatically affect how they are paid. Reporters in the highest-paying region, the District of Columbia, earn $71,450 a year on average, according to the BLS. Those in Massachusetts earn an average of $64,080 a year, while those in Georgia earn an average of $57,450. New York, which employs the most journalists of any state, pays reporters an average annual income of $56,590.