The average salary of a newspaper editor

Written by anne hirsh
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The average salary of a newspaper editor
Editor for printed newspapers may need to move online. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Newspaper editor salaries have been unstable throughout 2009 and 2010, according to data from Indeed. This may be due in part to many publishers moving to online-only publication, spurred by loss of readers and rising paper costs. Several major city newspapers closed or moved to online-only, including the Rocky Mountain News in Colorado and the Seattle Times in Washington, affecting the availability of newspaper editor jobs in those areas.

Job Description

"Newspaper editor" is a term defined in various ways, according to the publication employing the editor. Some newspaper editors are essentially managing editors, responsible for acquiring stories and supervising copy and junior editors. Other newspaper editors primarily perform hands-on editing work for stories that come into the newspaper. Small papers may employ a newspaper editor to handle several positions, including online content management and layout.

Salary Range

Average newspaper editor salaries across the United States range between £17,538 and £32,219, according to PayScale, as of November 2010. This amount includes profit-sharing and bonuses, although these amounts account for only a small percentage of the average newspaper editor's income. Relative to other jobs in the journalism field, newspaper editors average a higher annual salary than copy editors, news journalists and reporters, newspaper ad sales representatives and graphic artists and designers.

Mean Average

Data from PayScale calculates to a nationwide mean average of approximately £24,878 per year. The mean average presented by Indeed is slightly lower, at £23,400 annually. This represents an annual income nearly 50 per cent below the national average, based on all jobs in all categories.

City Data

A survey of newspaper editors in several major cities by Salary Expert shows a range between £28,587 and £39,202, which places editors in those cities at the high end of or above the national average. Newspaper editors in Boston, Orlando and Atlanta make the most of the 10 cities surveyed, while editors in Nashville and Dallas make the least. Other cities included in the survey were Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Indianapolis and Charlotte, North Carolina.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 400-job decrease in editorial positions between 2008 and 2018. This projection occurred before the closure of several major city newspapers in 2009. With this in mind, job prospects for newspaper editors may continue to grow scarce. However, other editorial fields, such as managing editors for online and new media venues, show pay rates higher than traditional newspaper editing. Aspiring editors may want to look to these venues for job prospects.

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