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Revealed: Insider discloses UK newsroom salaries to staff

The lowest editorial salaries at Insider UK start at £35,000.

By Bron Maher

Insider has disclosed to its UK journalists the minimum salaries for each role in the newsroom, a rare move towards pay transparency in the media.

In an email from Insider UK and international executive managing editor Emma Smith last week, the company disclosed that its lowest-paid journalists make at least £35,000.

The best-remunerated jobs pull in at least £60,000.

Smith wrote in her email that the disclosure was one of “a number of measures we’re working on in response to your feedback about what we can change and improve in our newsroom.

“One of those measures is to provide greater transparency around UK newsroom salaries and more guidance on how we determine UK market value.”

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The joint lowest-paid jobs were junior reporter, associate distribution producer and associate producer. The joint highest were senior editor, senior audience editor and senior managing producer.

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Smith emphasised that in many cases salaries would actually be higher than the minimum figures provided: “​​We also factor in experience, market, and reporting beat, as well as equity in the newsroom, which means there is variability in the newsroom at each level.”

She also provided some of the criteria by which the publisher reviews pay, including salary expectations from external candidates applying for jobs at Insider, salary information listed on journalism jobs in other organisations, competing offers made to employees by other organisations, and information on websites like Glassdoor and Emolument.

Smith signed off: “We encourage you to research your own UK market value by having conversations with your industry peers and keeping an eye on the job market. We are always happy to discuss market value so please speak to your manager or ME if you think your salary is out of line with the UK market.”

Insider's UK newsroom numbered around 90 as of last summer.

Most UK news organisations do not disclose pay levels, either internally or in job postings, with many saying they are either "competitive" or "dependent on experience".

A Press Gazette search of Linkedin last week found only one major outlet, The Independent, advertising salaries for UK editorial jobs. Those pay levels were:

  • Deputy travel editor: £35,000 – £38,000
  • Assistant audience editor: £25,000 – £27,000
  • Multimedia producer: £30,000 – £32,000.

Press Gazette has previously attempted to detail which news companies pay their staff the most, with the Financial Times coming in highest and Scotland-based STV lowest. STV’s median pay figure, based on Companies House information, was £ 34,001 - below the lowest band disclosed at Insider.

In a Press Gazette reader survey carried out last year, the median respondent salary was £41,700. Some 16% of respondents (based in the UK, US and Europe) reported salaries below £25,000.

[Read more: Average UK news media salaries for 2022 revealed]

As of November employers based in New York City, where Insider is headquartered, have been required to list minimum and maximum remunerations for job postings. The same rule is set to apply across the whole state of New York from September.

In March 2022 Gawker obtained an internal spreadsheet reportedly showing that Insider global editor-in-chief Nicholas Carlson draws a $600,000 salary with a $600,000 annual bonus.

A comparison of the salaries listed in Smith's email with those on open roles in Insider's US operation underline how much higher nominal New York salaries are than those in London:

  • Business features editor: $150,000 – $220,000 (£123,300 – £180,800)
  • Personal finance editor: $65,000 – $70,000 (£53,400 – £57,500)
  • Deputy editor of entertainment: $110,000 – $160,000 (£90,400 – £131,500).

Smith’s email to Insider staff in full:

Hello all,

At the recent UK newsroom discussion, Spriha [Srivastava, London bureau chief] and Claire [Shelton, head of people] outlined a number of measures we’re working on in response to your feedback about what we can change and improve in our newsroom. One of those measures is to provide greater transparency around UK newsroom salaries and more guidance on how we determine UK market value.

With that in mind, we’ve listed minimum salaries below for roles in the UK newsroom.

Business/Life/News

  • Junior reporter: £35,000
  • Reporter: £38,500
  • Senior reporter: £42,350
  • Correspondent: £55,000
  • Associate editor: £35,000
  • Editor: £48,400
  • Senior editor: £60,000

Distribution

  • Associate distribution producer: £35,000
  • Distribution producer: £38,500
  • Senior distribution producer: £42,350
  • Audience editor: £48,400
  • Senior audience editor: £60,000

Video

  • Associate producer: £35,000
  • Producer: £38,500
  • Senior producer: £45,000
  • Lead producer: £60,000
  • Managing producer: £54,000
  • Senior managing producer: £60,000

These salaries are minimums. We also factor in experience, market, and reporting beat, as well as equity in the newsroom, which means there is variability in the newsroom at each level.

The ME team uses a range of sources to regularly review our salaries against the UK market and ensure we remain competitive. These include the following:

  • Salary expectations from external candidates applying for Insider roles
  • Salary information listed on job postings for UK journalism roles. We will also start to list minimum salaries on all Insider editorial job postings
  • Competing offers from other organisations made to employees
  • Recruitment sites that contain industry pay information and comparisons, such as Glassdoor and Emolument.

We encourage you to research your own UK market value by having conversations with your industry peers and keeping an eye on the job market. We are always happy to discuss market value so please speak to your manager or ME if you think your salary is out of line with the UK market.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Emma

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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