Gannett newspapers in New Jersey and New York are paying journalists of color a median salary of $11,500 less annually that white reporters earn, according to a study released by NewsGuild, a union a number of local Gannett employees have joined.
Female reporters are paid an average of $9,500-per-year less than men and white journalists outnumber people of color by a margin of nearly 9-1.
At The (Bergen) Record, Daily Record and New Jersey Herald – the three newspapers that are part of the RecordGuild — the pay disparity between whites and journalists of color is $10,793. Women are paid $4,614 less than men at those three papers, and experienced female journalists make $9,581 less than men.
“Gannett claims it is a beacon for diversity in the workplace. Our numbers prove otherwise. The inequity is baked into how editors look at their workforce,” the report stated. “At a bargaining session this summer, when the Guild set its demand – equal pay for equal work – a Gannett editor rolled her eyes and laughed out loud. That is the Gannett management culture.”
According to the report, Gannett matches national averages of diversity among its younger employees but falls short of numbers for New Jersey and New York.
“Gannett’s policies are creating a ‘churn and burn’ situation, where managers treat talented and diverse but early career journalists as a disposable commodity rather than fostering a workplace where they see our newsrooms as a place to spend an extended portion of their career,” the union stated in its report.
After losing $54 million in the second quarter of 2022 and has watched stock prices plummet by more than 75% over the last year, Gannett has laid off about 400 employees nationally and instituted a hiring freeze on most open positions. Last week, the newspaper chain announced that non-union employees will be required to take a one-week unpaid leave in December and will offer a buyout package to veteran reporters.
“Gannett is either not invested in recruiting diverse, veteran journalists or has let its newsrooms falter to a point that veteran journalists no longer view them as a place to advance their careers,” the report said.
Gannett operates nine daily newspapers in New Jersey.