Mediabistro has published the results of its first US salary survey, but little coverage has been given to results submitted by more than 3,100 freelancers.

Although freelancers across the media industry reported higher earnings in 2004 than 2003, many respondents claimed surprisingly low earnings even though 44 per cent of those surveyed had more than ten years industry experience.

Median earnings for freelance writers in 2004 were around $35,000 - currently the equivalent of £17,000. Twenty-five per cent of respondents earned less than £5,000 from freelance writing during 2004 and, at editor level, only twenty-five per cent were paid more than £34,000.

Freelancers based on the east and west coasts earned significantly more than the rest of the US. Median earnings ranged from less than £11,000 in the south states to £22,000 in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Freelancers in PR, marketing and new media production reported the highest earnings with a quarter of respondent earnings more than £44,000 annually.

Full freelance salary survey results are available on the Mediabistro site.

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