To get an idea of how tough the job market for newspaper journalists has become in Southern California, a friend recently sent along the following two newspaper job listings.
The first comes from the Sulphur Springs News-Telegram (circ. 5,860) in Sulphur Springs, Texas (pop. 15,387*). The paper is advertising for a full-time photographer - experience preferred but not required. The position pays between $25,000 and $30,000, or between $12 and $14.40 an hour.
The second listing comes from the Redlands Daily Facts (circ. 7,094) in Redlands, Calif. (pop. 71,807**). The paper is looking for a full-time reporter/photographer, some experience and a bachelor's degree in either journalism or communications are required. The hybrid position pays between $20,000 and $25,000, or between $9.60 and $12 an hour.
According to City-Data.com, the median price for a home in Sulphur Springs is $92,934, the median household income is $35,407 and the median rent is $546. City-Data says the median price for a home in Redlands is $419,900, the median income is $65,782 and the median rent is $985.
Given how volatile the real estate market is some of the City-Data stats are probably out of date, but you get the picture.
For some added context, when I first went to work for the twice-weekly Claremont Courier (circ. 5,000) in 1997, I was paid about $9 an hour.
**2008 California Department of Finance