No, the pay isn’t always “so low”, as you say. It depends on whether one is a staff writer or a freelancer, and on what beat. I started out in the trade press and it was very well paid, albeit not terribly interesting.
After spending five years in the U.S., I’ve come to the — possibly erroneous — conclusion that Americans do not value public media the way we Europeans do. I actually wrote about this here:
Not Everything Deserves Attention
On becoming better informed without the shouty idiot box.
I’m obviously biased and very much pro-public media, and I’m not hiding it.
As for my project, it died when I left and no one picked it up. There was no one right behind me willing to carry on.
Lastly, bylines are not a matter of ego but a matter of accountability. As a reader, how do you feel when you see an anonymous op-ed in the newspaper? Does it seem trustworthy to you? What did you make of the anonymous NYT op-ed from a White House staffer, for example? There is such a thing as protecting sources in journalism, but this was highly unusual.
If you transpose this to Medium, many folks advocating for all sorts of causes choose not to write under their own name either. Sometimes, it’s because doing so would put them at risk of retribution. In some other cases, it may just be cowardice. If no one knows who you are, you cannot be held accountable for your words.
I wrote about that, too:
Unlocking The Courage to be You
You've worked hard on that piece so why the pseudonym?
Further, this is an excellent read about the history of the byline courtesy of British news agency Reuters:
How the byline beast was born
The byline has ebbed and flowed with the needs of journalism, and by and large it has done newspaper writers and…
Lastly, journalists aren’t the only ones putting their name to their work. So do pastry chefs, for example! As do doctors, lawyers, builders…
I don’t know why you’re being so uncouth toward me or even taking the liberty to crap all over my work and an industry you seem to know so little about. While I do not owe you the courtesy of a reply — and do not owe your responses real estate under my work either — I am responding to you in an attempt to understand what has made you so bitter toward women in general, and journalists in particular.
For I am curious to a fault, and use words to build bridges, not barriers.
In future, please think before you type out offensive comments because there are real people behind the screen.
I address my readers with respect and I expect the same in return, even from those who vehemently disagree with me. I always welcome constructive criticism so I can improve what I do and how I do it, but neither ad hominem attacks nor trolling fall under that category.
And I wrote about that too: