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It's far from typical, but they can earn that much if they work at one of the largest papers in the country — like the Washington Post, NY Times, Chicago Tribune, ATL Journal-Constitution, etc. I personally know a couple who make twice what they're offering Lemont. The Candorville Chronicle is one of the largest in the country. The average journalist makes far less than that.
Whoa. Do journalists make that much, really?
Journalist generally don't (a successful book deal can overcome that).
A columnist who has a proven track record and far-reaching popularity, on the other hand…