Salaries for US journalists - particularly reporters - increased substantially from 2002 to 2003.

Results from the 16th annual Newspaper Industry Compensation Survey (NICS) identified the largest ever increase in a single year. Surveying 455 daily newspapers across the US and Canada, the results showed an increase in base pay of 7.1 per cent in 2003 - nearly double the previous annual average.

Wages for entry level reporters also rose, jumping 6.8 per cent from 2002. Reporters' salaries increased more than of any of the 83 job titles questionned for the report.

Online editors' pay increased by around 6 per cent, ranging from $21,424 to $156,104 per year. Most reported a salary in the region of $56,000.

Recent research on salaries among UK journalists was compiled by Ruskin College for the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). The report surveyed around 5,600 union members and estimated a median salary of £26,000.

Results from the 2002 survey, which is carried out bi-annually by the union, found that just under ten per cent of UK journalists earn less than £10,000 per year.

The NUJ is currently running the 'Scrooge Awards' campaign to find the worst-paying media employers in the UK. Graduate journalists are particularly likely to become victims of low-paying employers; 47 per cent of journalists under the age of 25 earn less than £15,000 per year.

The average starting salary for graduates in other sectors is at least £20,000.

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