Tuesday, 6 July 2010

'Local papers should pay journalists more rather than giving bumper packages to managers'

The local newspaper industry ought to invest more money in its journalists rather than rewarding senior management with bumper pay packages, according to a Scottish Parliament committee, allmediascotland reports.
In a report on the Scottish local newspaper industry, the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee at Holyrood voices its concern over the “contrast” that exists between the pay packets of senior media industry executives and that of their employees.
Says the report: “The Committee notes the levels of profits still being made by newspaper companies. The Committee also notes the contrast between the remuneration packages of senior management in the industry and the salaries being offered to journalists entering the profession in local newspapers.”
Emphasising the need to “recruit and retain well trained professional journalists”, the report adds: “The Committee believes, therefore, that it is essential that the management of newspaper companies take steps to make sustained investment in journalism.
“Such investment must ensure that journalists are supported, developed and fairly remunerated in order to play their vital role in the production of vibrant titles that will continue to find a market and ­- perhaps more importantly - carry out their important cultural, scrutiny and other functions in local communities across Scotland.”
The group of MSPs, which held evidence sessions with senior figures within the industry in January and March of this year, also highlights the urgent need for local newspaper groups to develop a sustainable business model to ensure their long-term survival.
  • HoldtheFrontPage also has a story on the committe's report today and notes that "Michael Johnston, Scotland divisional managing director at Johnston Press, told the committee 'we did not possibly invest enough in journalism' and also admitted the group had made a number of 'ill-advised acquisitions'."

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