Thursday, 15 April 2010
Councils vs. Press: Mind the pay gap
Read today that the deputy editor of the Nottingham Evening Post left the paper to take up a £71,000 a year post as communications director for Notts County Council.
Then saw this extract from a paper by senior lecturer in journalism at Kingston University, James Morrison, called: ‘Spin, smoke-filled rooms, and the decline of council reporting by local newspapers: the slow demise of town hall transparency,’
"The main journalism recruitment sites, among them www.journalism.co.uk and www.gorkana.com, regularly carry job ads for journalists posted by local authorities willing to offer upwards of £30,000 per annum, and we know from earlier FoI request to Tower Hamlets that East End Life was employing 7.6 editorial and production staff, including four reporters, on £379,000 between them as of January 2010 (www.whatdotheyknow.com).
"By contrast, as of September 2009, a typical starting salary for a local newspaper reporter was around £12,000 (www.prospects.ac.uk, September 2009). With many newspaper groups no longer recruiting anyway, and some cutting jobs, it's easy to understand why applying to work on a less frenetic council publication can be so attractive to recently trained journalists – particularly those saddled with thousands of pounds in personal debt after self-financing a degree and the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) certificate."