Cheap Car Insurance Rate Studies
Auto Insurer Reviews
Best Car Insurance
Cost of Car Insurance
Auto Insurance Guides
What Does Car Insurance Cover

Best Cities for Reporters, Correspondents

In the world of media, an ever-changing one, it's important to define our terms first. The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines reporters and correspondents as those professionals who "collect and analyze facts about newsworthy events by interview, investigation, or observation" while they "report and write stories for newspaper, news magazine, radio or television." With that clarified, let's take a look at the best cities for these old-school professionals.

Best Five Cities for Reporters, Correspondents

Of the 150 cities reporting data, these five earned our best score, comprising the factors of median salary, cost of living and location quotient. Speaking of salary, the 42,280 reporters, correspondents employed in the U.S. in May 2014 earned $45,800 on average, or an hourly wage of $22.02, according to the BLS, which has different categories for "broadcast news analysts" and "court reporters."

1. Washington, D.C.*

The nation's capital has the nation's second-highest location quotient, meaning that there is a high demand for journalists relative to the demand for other professions within the area. Of course, many have the dream of serving as his or her publication's White House correspondent, that one reporter that gets to follow the president on Air Force One and ask the hard questions at press briefings. Some of their work ends up in D.C.'s amazing Newseum, where journos (and avid readers of journalism) go to geek out. 

Newspaper with the highest circulation: The Washington Post

*Statistical region includes: Arlington and Alexandria, Va.

2. San Francisco, Calif.*

The most expensive city in America to live, San Francisco is the second-best city for the country's correspondents and reporters. Many descended on San Francisco this summer when an undocumented immigrant murdered a local woman, leading to coverage of potential local and national reforms. The vibrant Bay Area is also home to the Asian American Journalists Association

Newspaper with the highest circulation: The San Francisco Chronicle

*Statistical region includes: San Mateo and Redwood City, Calif.

3. New York, N.Y.*

New York City has the most full-time jobs in the field (2,770) in the country, plus its highest annual average salary ($71,580). As the Knight Foundation, one of journalism's best benefactors noted, there is "no sensible system" to determine the best journalism school in the country, but many can agree that New York City's Columbia University belongs in the conversation. And that's not just because New York City and its top university is the home of The Pulitzer Prizes.

Newspaper with the highest circulation: The Wall Street Journal

*Statistical region includes: White Plains, N.Y., and Wayne, N.J.

4. Salt Lake City, Utah

The 490 reporters and correspondents here are paid the least compared to their peers in the other top-five cities, but they also live in the most affordable place. Utah is, of course, home to The Church of of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The state's most widely-read newspaper also employs the world's only polygamy reporter

Newspaper with the highest circulation: The Salt Lake Tribune

5. Boston, Mass.*

Massachusetts' main city rounded out the top five because it ranked in the study's top 10 in both number of jobs and and annual average salary for reporters and correspondents. Boston, it should be noted, was the birthplace of Barbara Walters. But you'd have to travel 60 miles north in New England to find America's oldest newspaper, The New Hampshire Gazzette. 

Newspaper with the highest circulation: The Boston Globe

*Statistical region includes: Cambridge and Quincy, Mass.

Population Breakdown

Although we adjusted for population in our rankings, it is still difficult to compare a small city to a large one. To account for this fact, we separated the safest cities into three categories: cities with populations less than 100,000 people, midsize cities with populations between 100,000 and 500,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 500,000. Here are our findings:

Top 100 Cities for Reporters, Correspondents

Rank City Average Salary  Jobs Location Quotient Cost of Living Score
1 Washington, DC $70,760 2,570 3.45 157 4
2 San Francisco, CA $56,230 970 2.86 200 17
3 New York, NY $71,580 2,770 1.64 168 22
4 Salt Lake City, UT $49,470 490 2.35 106 45
5 Boston, MA $60,700 690 1.23 152 47
6 Atlanta, GA $65,870 850 1.14 110 52
7 Durham, NC $54,910 110 1.27 113 59
8 Wichita, KS $49,230 130 1.45 87 70
9 Springfield, MA $50,560 120 1.31 107 73
10 Sacramento, CA $49,330 350 1.30 117 73
11 Trenton, NJ $51,610 90 1.24 106 74
12 Orlando, FL $55,870 340 1.01 90 75
13 Cleveland, OH $48,680 380 1.20 92 79
14 Denver, CO $53,020 420 1.00 108 82
15 Anchorage, AK $50,950 60 1.17 135 91
16 Chicago, IL $51,320 1,140 0.98 111 93
17 Burlington, VT $41,670 120 3.28 125 93
18 Miami, FL $47,440 370 1.12 112 94
19 Fresno, CA $52,070 100 1.01 101 95
20 Santa, NM $42,470 60 3.00 118 97
21 Charlotte, NC $52,390 260 0.92 94 98
22 San Juan, PR $41,890 350 1.58 88 102
23 Los Angeles, CA $46,250 1,330 1.05 144 105
24 Louisville, KY $49,970 190 0.97 84 108
25 Baton, LA $42,590 160 1.33 93 108
26 Deltona, FL $45,660 60 1.19 86 111
27 Santa Barbara, CA $48,390 60 1.08 167 112
28 Boise City, ID $41,400 130 1.47 94 114
29 Indianapolis, IN $54,870 230 0.80 102 121
30 Albany, GA $40,530 40 2.15 88 121
31 Albany, NY $43,700 150 1.11 102 122
32 Tucson, AZ $46,080 110 1.02 91 122
33 Bismarck, ND $37,030 80 3.77 98 122
34 Providence, RI $57,140 130 0.77 118 125
35 Hagerstown, MD $39,690 60 1.77 88 125
36 Oklahoma, OK $42,220 220 1.16 86 126
37 West Palm Beach, FL $51,160 150 0.85 102 126
38 Syracuse, NY $53,240 80 0.83 100 128
39 South Bend, IN $38,660 70 1.79 86 128
40 Phoenix, AZ $45,330 530 0.93 90 128
41 Las Vegas, NV $61,780 190 0.69 94 129
42 Nassau, NY $42,430 410 1.04 108 132
43 Roanoke, VA $43,200 50 1.13 89 135
44 Bangor, ME $36,310 60 3.08 102 136
45 Cheyenne, WY $36,650 40 3.02 98 138
46 Kansas City, MO $44,670 290 0.91 90 138
47 Des Moines, IA $33,630 300 2.81 91 140
48 Burlington, NC $37,070 40 1.96 93 141
49 Baltimore, MD $57,700 240 0.59 107 144
50 Salisbury, MD $37,080 30 1.96 100 144
51 Poughkeepsie, NY $47,200 70 0.90 119 145
52 Rochester, NY $47,950 130 0.83 84 145
53 Asheville, NC $37,950 80 1.44 105 146
54 Albuquerque, NM $46,130 100 0.89 103 147
55 Pittsburgh, PA $40,590 360 1.02 88 147
56 Corpus, TX $42,860 60 1.00 86 151
57 Tampa, FL $39,010 380 1.03 89 153
58 Gulfport, MS $36,420 50 1.60 91 155
59 Nashville, TN $41,450 240 0.95 105 158
60 North Port, FL $36,240 110 1.32 92 158
61 Oakland, CA $51,310 200 0.63 144 159
62 San Diego, CA $50,160 270 0.65 152 160
63 Akron, OH $42,270 90 0.94 80 160
64 Seattle, WA $44,700 380 0.81 137 160
65 Utica, NY $48,110 30 0.84 101 161
66 San Jose, CA $53,400 160 0.52 187 161
67 Killeen, TX $42,590 40 0.98 83 161
68 Salinas, CA $44,420 50 0.90 120 162
69 Missoula, MT $30,100 60 3.45 112 163
70 Toledo, OH $33,950 130 1.38 82 163
71 Fayetteville, AR $33,410 110 1.60 86 164
72 Minneapolis, MN $45,300 430 0.75 104 164
73 Spokane, WA $42,400 60 0.94 91 165
74 Houston, TX $52,080 370 0.42 93 165
75 Portland, ME $33,480 100 1.63 114 165
76 Omaha, NE $40,640 140 0.93 86 167
77 Camden, NJ $44,010 130 0.82 91 169
78 Honolulu, HI $47,990 100 0.72 188 170
79 Detroit, MI $51,880 120 0.51 84 170
80 San Antonio, TX $51,740 130 0.46 90 172
81 Lima, OH $29,950 40 2.81 80 173
82 Cincinnati, OH $49,790 170 0.54 85 174
83 Scranton, PA $32,300 110 1.38 85 174
84 Sioux Falls, SD $31,360 80 1.75 100 175
85 Dallas, TX $47,200 420 0.60 96 175
86 Wilmington, NC $26,270 90 2.05 102 177
87 Greenville, SC $45,570 70 0.75 93 177
88 Edison, NJ $44,290 230 0.74 134 177
89 Worcester, MA $50,120 50 0.65 115 178
90 Santa Ana, CA $51,050 210 0.45 155 178
91 Charleston, WV $32,990 60 1.41 95 179
92 Macon, GA $34,870 40 1.24 85 180
93 Winston-Salem, NC $47,440 50 0.69 90 180
94 Kennewick, WA $36,200 40 1.23 100 180
95 Austin, TX $43,810 200 0.73 98 180
96 Eau Claire, WI $28,020 50 1.94 90 182
97 Richmond, VA $52,240 60 0.32 98 182
98 Myrtle Beach, SC $35,840 40 1.20 97 184
99 Portland, OR $46,730 200 0.61 111 184
100 Birmingham, AL $40,810 130 0.84 95 186

Methodology

These were the three key questions we asked in coming up with the list. 

1. What can reporters/correspondents earn in the city?  

We ranked the best cities for reporters/correspondents based on the median annual pay. Income is likely the most important factor people consider when starting their career or relocating elsewhere. A high salary in an expensive city, however, may be less attractive than a lower salary in an affordable town. Our next metric takes affordability into consideration.

2. How affordable is it to live in this city?  

Now that we have the median salary, we’ll look next at the cost of living. The cost of living is a measure of how far earnings can be stretched. Cities with lower cost of living index numbers ranked higher in our study. For example, the average city is benchmarked at 100. A city with a cost of living index of 188, such as Honolulu, would mean that generally speaking, living expenses are 88 percent more expensive compared to the average city.

3. What is the location quotient for reporters/correspondents in the city?  

A place with a high median salary and low cost of living may seem perfect, but job opportunities may be limited. Our third factor accounts for this by favoring cities with high location quotients. Location quotient measures the concentration of reporters/correspondents in an area as a percentage of all occupations, and then compares that to the national average. We interpret a higher location quotient to mean a relatively higher demand for a reporter/correspondent’s services.

Comments and Questions