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 and, 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 (
"By contrast, as of September 2009, a typical starting salary for a local newspaper reporter was around £12,000 (, 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."

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