KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9, 2018: Malaysia’s first ever Media Salary Survey for journalists was released this morning, by the Institute of Journalists Malaysia (IOJ) at the Cooler Lumpur Festival taking place in Publika shopping mall.
The online survey saw 208 professionals taking part, with over 63.8% comprising reporters.
Participants with more senior positions, such as section editors and management editors also took part in the survey.
Out of 208 respondents, 54.3% of survey respondents hailed from English-language media, 19% from Bahasa Malaysia, the remaining 25.6% from Chinese media.
The majority of the respondents were in the category of writer/journalists, with average salaries of RM3,619.14.
However, the responses also showed Chinese-language reporters and writers earning substantially lower than their English or Malay-language counterparts, averaging RM2,678.70, compared to RM4,310.07 for English language writers and RM3,432.20 for BM writers.
While all writers start around the same salary, it was found that with more years of experience, the hikes in wages were significantly less for Chinese media.
Interestingly, the survey results also showed that female writers generally earned more than their male counterparts when the results were broken down by number of years in the industry.
While nearly 60% of survey respondents said they put in 9 to 10 hours in a typical workday, another 19% said they worked 8 hours or less.
Also, over 40% of respondents believed their media organisations were profitable, whereas 35% said otherwise for their companies, and a further 22% said they did not know how their companies were faring financially.
The survey was released during the one of the festival’s panel workshops – “Saving Journalism in the Age of Social Media”. IOJ Chairman Chak Onn Lau, who presented the results, said the salary survey was part of IOJ’s aim in improving Malaysia’s professional journalism talent.
“We thought it’d be useful for media organisations, and also journalists to know what the standards are right now, and work together to improve them,” Chak said.
While there were a lot of writers who took part in the survey, it was short on responses from photographers and higher-level media professionals such as section editors. Chak, the Editor-in-Chief for online portal Cilisos, said the salary survey next year will also aim to garner more participation from the Malay and Tamil-language media.
“The response was alright, but we hope to get a bigger sample size next year, so that we can obtain more accurate data about the local media industry,” Chak said.
Chak also thanked media database company Telum Media for their help in broadcasting the survey in its regular industry updates to media professionals in Malaysia.
Those interested in the details of the salary survey may email the IOJ at firstname.lastname@example.org, for copies of the slide presentation