One-third (32 percent) of media workers in Hong Kong earn between HK$10,000 (US$1,289) and HK$15,000 a month, a recent survey by the Hong Kong Journalists Association shows.
This is despite the fact that only one-quarter (25 percent) of the respondents have two years’ experience or less, an increase of 3 percentage points from the previous survey, in 2011.
Four hundred reporters, photographers, senior reporters and editors responded to the latest questionnaire survey, done from Jan. 6 to 22 to examine the working conditions of media workers.
The proportion of media workers with four years’ experience or less has increased to 46 percent from 38 percent in the 2011 survey.
However, the proportion of those with between 10 and 20 years of experience has decreased to 21 percent from 29 percent.
The survey found that pay for media workers has been stagnant over the past five years.
Just 13 percent of respondents earn between HK$20,000 and HK$25,000 a month, and 16 percent earn more than HK$30,000, the same as in 2011.
The low pay is the most significant reason (cited by 31 percent of respondents) that would cause media workers to leave the industry and change jobs, a lot more significant than the other two leading reasons: high pressure and political interference.
It is also the reason most media workers do not consider journalism as a life career.
When asked how long they will stay in the industry, 29 percent said one or two years and 22 percent said three or four years.
Only 25 percent say they have never considered leaving.
The HKJA said it is worried that the high turnover rate among journalists caused by low salaries will in turn affect the quality of news.
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