Friday, 15 July 2011

The second great obscenity in British journalism: local paper pay

The shockwaves emanating from the phone hacking scandal are still rippling through the Murdoch empire.

This morning Rebekah Brooks fell, and she can’t be the last casualty as the crisis crosses the Atlantic.

But there’s a second obscenity in British journalism: it’s the pay rates for those in local media. We all know the local press is in a crisis. There are several causes, but the venality of the big local-paper owners is one of them.

Jim Oldfield, the editor of the South Yorkshire Times put it in perspective today when he revealed the pay rates on his newspaper. Oldfield, who is supporting an NUJ strike at Johnston Press’s South Yorkshire Newspapers against redundancies said he gets paid £25,000, after 37 years in journalism. Trainees get £14,000.

Jon Slattery came up with these illustrations:

Salary shocker 

Which is why it is so timely that researchers at the School of Journalism, Media and Communication at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston are surveying journalists’ pay scales. You can contribute here:

It's time this second obscenity was documented and exposed.

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