Male journalists who work at the Los Angeles Times get paid more than their female non-white colleagues.
Those were the conclusions of a study released April 11 by the Los Angeles Times Guild, a union of more than 300 Times workers that voted to organize in January.
The study assigns blame to the Times’ soon to be former parent company, Chicago-based tronc Inc.
“Tronc has underpaid women and journalists of color by thousands of dollars a year at the Los Angeles Times, suggesting systemic salary gaps by race and gender,” the study concluded.
Biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong purchased the Times from tronc in February, though the deal has yet to close.
The median salary for a male, full-time journalist at the Times is $92,000, according to the report, and the median salary for a female, full-time journalist is $78,000.
There is also an apparent race pay gap.
The median salary for a full-time, white male newsroom employee at the Times is $101,000, according to the report, while the median salary for a full-time, white female newsroom employee is $87,000.
Meanwhile, a full-time non-white female journalist nets median yearly earnings of $70,000. A non-white male in the same position gets $84,000-a-year.
The guild gathered salary and demographic data from 323 full-time newsroom employees, whom tronc recognized for union inclusion.
The study’s authors acknowledged that some pay gaps are due to “lopsided demographics,” namely that older, more experienced journalists in the bargaining unit are more likely to be white and male. But the guild concluded that demographics alone do not explain the gap.
Break downs for race and gender aside, the median Times’ reporter salary is $95,232. The median household income in Los Angeles County is $59,134.
“It's important to note that Los Angeles Times salaries are low when compared to other major news organizations around the country, which has led to a real brain drain over the years as talented journalists have left to pursue careers elsewhere,” said guild representative Carolina Miranda. “That has been bad for The Times and it's been bad for Los Angeles.”
Miranda said that Times community newspaper reporters get paid an average of less than $40,000 a year.
The guild’s contract negotiations with the Times will proceed when Soon-Shiong’s purchase is finalized, Miranda said.
The Times has not immediately responded for requests for comment.
Media and entertainment reporter Matthew Blake can be reached at (323) 556-8332 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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