F. Warren Hellman’s proposed Bay Area News Project will rely on the free labor of UC-Berkeley journalism students, but not everyone involved in nonprofit journalism is working for free.

The editor of Pro Publica, Paul Steiger, was paid $570,000 in 2008, according to IRS forms the nonprofit files annually.

Pro Publica is the 32-person nonprofit news service started by subprime mortgage pioneers Herbert and Marion Sandler of San Francisco and Steiger, of course, is the former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal.

The salary was first reported by Reflections of a Newsosaur blogger Alan D. Mutter. The NY Times’ Media Decoder blogger David Carr asked members of Pro Publica’s board about the salary. They defended it, saying you get what you pay for.

Bay Area Media News


  1. Propublica was billed as a model for non-profit journalism but it's clearly a model for something else entirely; a new form of funding overpaid news executives.
    No one needs more news executives… we need more journalists to do reporting, and places to publish.

  2. If these folks believe what they say, "You get what you pay for," bodes poorly for the future of 'non-profit' journalism as practiced my Mr.s Hellman & Steiger. They propose to publish material they aren't paying for. I find the designation 'non-profit' amusing, it doesn't seem that there's a newspaper in this market that's making a profit. Anyone who knows of an exception is welcome to chime in.

  3. I think you could get a pretty good editor of a Web site for $100K. And you could hire four more reporters with benefits (at least.)

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