News / 24.04.2010

Finnish print journalists catching up in the salary race

An average press journalist earned a little less than 3,500 Euros a month last year, a 5.2 per cent increase over the previous year, according to the statistics which were compiled in October. The results could be considered at least satisfactory because the general income index rose by exactly three per cent during the same period.

The statistics reveal that the gap may be narrowing between the incomes of male and female journalists. Average monthly income of male journalists last year was 3, 554 Euros while the corresponding income for their female counterparts was 3,331 Euros. Indication for a hopeful future lies in the fact that female income rose faster than that of men, rising by 5.8 per cent while the rise in men’s income was 5.3 per cent.

However, women still earn 93 euro cents less than men while in the lowest pay categories it is 89 Euro cents less than men. For the whole country, women earn 82 euro cents less. It is hoped that as women progress further on the promotion ladder to senior positions within media houses the income inequality between male and female would soon disappear altogether.

If all salary groups are taken into consideration, the income of journalists ranges from 2,700 to 4,800 Euros a month. Expectations for salary increase are at least modest, given the current economic situation.

“I am relatively satisfied with my own salary until it comes up in discussion with my colleagues”, said one journalist with Helsingin Sanomat, the biggest circulation Finnish daily who wanted to remain anonymous.

However, freelance journalists have had their income stagnate last year and a reduction in their ability to sell their work, according to a survey of 80 freelance journalists by Journalisti the trade journal of the Union of Journalists in Finland. Respondents said it has become more difficult to sell their work due to increase in supply and competition. Most immigrants in Finland work as freelancers because of their inability to find a foothold in the mainstream media.

Nearly half of the respondents (48 per cent) said there has been a reduction in income and about a third said their income had increased while about a quarter experienced increased income.

Translated and edited by Linus Atarah

Orginal story by Timo Sormunen

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