Dan Gillmor, author of "We the Media," which helps journalists switch from print media to the web, has said that ProPublica "can't really justify" the pay levels of the top people at the the group of investigative reporters.

An item on Jim Romanesko's blog on the Poynter Institute website quoted Gillmor noting "ProPublica's top-gun salaries are mind-boggling."

paul steiger

Paul Steiger, president, was paid $570,000 plus $14,242 in benefits in 2008, the latest year for which figures are available.

Stephen Engelberg, managing editor, was paid $451,972/$26,642;

Richard Tofel, treasurer, was paid $296,370/$24,975;

Dafna Linzer, senior reporter, $166,976/$12/132;

Jeffrey Gerth, senior reporter, $150,000/$9,533;

stephen engelberg

Barbara Zinkant, finance director, $111,416/$10,207;

Robin Fields, senior reporter, $101,373/$3,881;

Thomas Detzel, editor, $97,802/$2,414.

Top 8 of 46 Got 51% of Payroll

Steiger, Engelberg and Tofel got pay/benefits totaling $1,318,342 or 32% of total pay/benefits of $4,005,731.

Total pay/benefits for the top eight staffers was $2,049,935 or 51.17% of the total.

The other 38 staffers divided $1,955,796 or an average of $51,468 in pay/benefits.

The pay totals are from the 2008 Form 990 which ProPublica filed on Aug. 17, 2009.


A ProPublica spokesperson said the 2009 Form 990 will be filed next month.

ProPublica has posted a 2009 financial report on its website (PDF) but salaries are not included.

Steiger, Tofal from WSJ, Engelberg, NYT

Steiger was managing editor of the Wall Street Journal from 1991-2007 and Tofel was assistant publisher of the WSJ after serving as assistant managing editor.

Engelberg was investigative editor of the New York Times.

Amanda Michel, "editor of distributed reporting" of ProPublica, who addressed PR Seminar June 4 at the Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain, is in charge of rounding up non-paid "citizen reporters" who help ProPublica with its investigations.

She heads the "ProPublica Reporting Network" that "organizes readers, guiding them to ‘commit acts of journalism.'"

ProPublica also calls this "collaborative reporting."

Here's a copy of the salary sheet from ProPublica's 990: