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Valérie Devillard

Journalists and salary differences

Le Temps des médias n°6, printemps 2006, p.87-100

Usually, journalists are presented as falling into one of three groups : the elite, the bulk of the salaried work-force, and stringers or part-timers. All share perceptions as to their professional identity but three factors separate them : their status as employees (permanent or short-term contract), their position in the staff hierarchy, and career prospects. Based on statistical surveys conducted to the CCIJP, we show the growing disparity between the earnings of the « oligarchy » and part-time stringers. This gap increased significantly in the 1980/90s. « Market-oriented » journalism, driven by media company strategies to maximise profits affected, inter alia, the working conditions of journalists. Salary differences reflected the gender divide, the type of media employer, and, above all, a generational factor. Those who entered the profession in 1993 began their career at a time of economic crisis ; this had lasting career consequences. By contrast, those who were born in the 1940s had a better chance to reach top positions, and be part of a « journalistic elite » as their career neared its end. DrapeauFrancais

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