How about good news for a change?
A new study from the Institute for Nonprofit News looking at compensation among member organizations found that people are getting paid more these days, with more employers offering benefits like paid time off when compared to just a few years ago. newsrooms
The report suggests 85 percent of people working for nonprofit news organizations are now offered PTO, up from around 50 percent in the first study. Parental leave availability has increased, as has the opportunity to tap into a retirement plan.
“The first study was two years ago,” says Courtney Lewis, INN’s chief of growth programs. “The study collects information from about one-fourth of our members. … Typically, the greatest representation (is from) mid-sized newsrooms, with $1-2 million in revenue. It looks at 16 jobs and other information about benefits.”
Member newsrooms that replied to the study are typically “staffed like small weeklies but they operate on what’s competitive in the commercial news market,” Lewis says. “We provided this information so small nonprofits have insight on what the market looks like so they can grow competitively. Some positions we look at are leadership positions, like executive director, managing editor, chief development officer, but also editorial positions, like reporters, even intern compensation. As people are growing organizations, they’re hungry for information.”
As more traditional news outlets, and newsrooms, are shrinking or going out of business altogether, there are many independent outlets that are “aggressively growing,” Lewis says. There are also many startups, which utilize information in reports like this so they can position themselves for success in their early fundraising efforts to be able to expand their staffing sustainably as they become more established.
“There’s a lot of confidence in newsrooms’ ability to identify and attract editorial talent, people who are journalists and reporters,” Lewis says. “We know that journalists in commercial media organizations are losing their jobs. Nonprofit news is an opportunity to continue that work. The greatest need is on the business side: How does a nonprofit newsroom attract a sophisticated development officer? What we do for the nonprofit news sector is anchored on building that business talent and expertise. We see that as the greatest need and the most common need across organizations of various sizes and stages.”
The reason for growth, both in the number of independent news outlets and the size of those organization’s staffing, is the dedication to the work. “It’s very mission-oriented work, with mission-oriented leaders. In addition to just keeping up and being competitive in the marketplace for candidates, it’s making sure staff members feel a sense of belonging and it’s not just about the work they do, it’s the culture the newsroom fosters and creates and the talent they can foster and retain,” she says. “A lot of what you see is people’s commitment to creating great places to work. Nonprofit news is attracting executive directors and heads out of human resources and operations who care about creating great places to work.”
A new study from the Institute for Nonprofit News looking at compensation among member organizations reveals some good news about employee pay and benefits. Courtney Lewis, INN’s chief of growth programs, shares all the details with It’s All Journalism host Michael O’Connell.