AddThis SmartLayers

Horizontal Jobs Scroller

Latest Jobs Call 01332 895994 to advertise here

Editor’s disclosure prompts journalists’ pay survey

Journalists are being urged to reveal how much they earn as part of a new online survey launched after a weekly editor disclosed his salary.

South Yorkshire Times editor Jim Oldfield, who is currently on strike in a protest over job cuts, revealed last week that he is paid just £25,500 despite 37 years’ experience in journalism on both national and local titles.

Now Francois Nel,  digital journalism specialist and founding director of the journalism leaders programme at the University of Central Lancashire, has created a survey in a bid to find out whether such wages are typical of the profession.

The survey can be accessed here.

As well as revealing his own salary, Jim also said trainee journalists at South Yorkshire Newspapers were on £14,000; page designers £15,000; senior reporters £18,000; and assistant editors £24,000.

Francis is conducting the online study into journalists’ pay through a blog called UKjournopay new study: How are journalists being rewarded ?

He said: “There’s been a lot of talk about the financial health of the journalism industry. And there’s been quite a bit of discussion about the experiences of journalists who have left or been forced out of their jobs.

“But what about those staying behind? Just how are UK journalists, who face increasing demands, being rewarded?”

All journalists are being urged to complete the survey, which will form part of research being carried out at the School of Journalism, Media and Communication at the UCLan, in Preston.

People have until the end of next month to complete the survey, around 40 people have completed it so far. The results will be published in a report.

21 comments

You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • July 21, 2011 at 8:47 am
    Permalink

    The National Union of Journalists have carried out similar survey and not surprisingly uncovered the realities of pay in regional and local newspapers. Jeremy Dear, the previous General Secretary of the NUJ used to claim that people working at McDonalds earned more than the local reporter.

    I will be interested to see what your results are.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 21, 2011 at 9:37 am
    Permalink

    You get paid what you’re worth. Maybe that’s what Jim and co are worth?

    Just a thought.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 21, 2011 at 10:20 am
    Permalink

    Ed, I think that’s a bit harsh. In my opinion, it’s more a case of ‘you get paid what the management will pay’ and if you won’t accept it, someone else will.
    I have tried in two separate jobs to argue for a pay increase and both times been told bluntly that there are many who will take the job if I don’t want it. And I have seen excellent reporters leave because management simply will not increase their pay and they have worked out they can earn more elsewhere.
    For what it’s worth, I earn £20k as a news editor, deputising often for the editor will all the responsibility that brings.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 21, 2011 at 10:45 am
    Permalink

    And Ed, what are bankers or hedge-fund managers worth?

    Your argument is utter crap. Journalists are paid terribly because their employers know there is always someone who is willing to do the job more cheaply. You don’t have to pay journalists a wage commensurate with their education, training or experience, because all that’s needed is someone who can churn out plenty of content quickly. It’s a good thing that the shocking wages journalists are paid is exposed, but it’s unlikely to make a difference.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 21, 2011 at 11:08 am
    Permalink

    Ed, that’s a shocker. Why should talented, intelligent people work for such laughable wages? Answer is they don’t and won’t so you get the kids who’ve done a media degree, have little real background or feel for journalism and subsequently lower the standards. And don’t tell me this isn’t the case – I’ve seen it for years.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 21, 2011 at 11:08 am
    Permalink

    I was in court once, as a trainee reporter, and the magistrates heard the amount earned by the defendant, as a cleaner at B&Q – it was more than I got paid.
    The interesting thing was, this man was jailed so there would have been a vacancy…

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 21, 2011 at 11:30 am
    Permalink

    This is pointless. Does any newspaper employee reading this honestly believe pay rates will increase across the board, across all publishers and companies as a result? Worthless NUJ have been harping on for years about it and nothing has changed in my 5 years with the industry. It’s naive to assume those at the top will free up tens of thousands to increase salaries while the industry is widely seen to be circling the drain and hemorrhaging cash every which way
    I started out on a little over £14,500. With a degree, A-levels, and a £1,200 NUJ qualifcation under my belt. As pessimistic as it may sound, the sensible thing is to gather the skills you can and move industries. There’s too much romanticising done of local journalism.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 21, 2011 at 11:53 am
    Permalink

    Well off you pop and clean for B&Q, then. I’m assuming you’re claiming to be worth much more than a peasant in an orange apron?

    Incidentally, I dare say that ‘cleaner’ you so disparagingly refer to was responsible for people’s safety, as well as a gleaming shop floor. I am a cleaner, and your bile repulses me. How dare you?

    What are you responsible for? Oh yes, widespread corruption, personal intrusion (particularly in times of grief: the first person at anyone’s door who has lost a loved one is one of you lot circling the carcass).

    Do you think you have some kind of divine right to earn super-tax wages in return for writing, simply because you’ve been around a while and have an English degree? I have neither a degree nor many years, but I can handle my lexis better than a fair few of you so called ‘professionals’.

    What ridiculously aloof superciliousness you all spew. Wake up. You’re ten-a-penny, you lot. Writing is not a skill, it’s a prerequisite of a half-decent state education.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 21, 2011 at 12:08 pm
    Permalink

    I think Jim has perhaps stayed where he is for a reason, and must have taken a cut from his days on the nationals based on my experience of what people get.
    His seniors get paid less than our juniors and whevener I have asked about the wage band for vacancies on here, they are as often attractive as not.
    Yopu have to make big decisions sometimes, on where you want to live, if you want to move, which part of the industry you want to be in. Perhaps Jim has avoided that.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 21, 2011 at 12:18 pm
    Permalink

    Ed will get the newspapers he deserves…

    I left a staff job because I couldn’t live in the real world on the Mickey Mouse wages. I then left freelancing for newspapers because amateurs are willing to supply for free (still haven’t worked out why) and freelance rates tumbled.

    End result is no skin off my nose, but local and regional papers are almost all appallingly bad, unreadable and suffering accelerated decline as a result.

    My only reservation about journalists (I’m a photographer) complaining about their remuneration now is that whenever photographers were getting it in the neck, there was very little support or sympathy from the writers who tended to look down on us. I knew that one day management would get around to kicking three shades out of the writers. Doesn’t make me happy though, just saying.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm
    Permalink

    Sadly, it’s the law of supply and demand. There are more people coming out of the journalism training machine than ever at the same time as there are (a) fewer employers than there have ever been and (b) those employers are wanting to employ fewer people than ever before. High supply + low demand = low salaries. The arguments about why are endless, but that’s the reality.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm
    Permalink

    Where I work several excellent young journos with great attitude have quit because they fed up with the crap working conditions, being pushed around to “fill holes in buckets” and churnalism- not one of them mentioned money although they did earn more where they headed.
    It is true that all employers want is for older, possibly higher paid, staff to leave so they can bring younger cheaper staff, not matter how green. But there is young talent; shame it’s going to waste on a lot of badly run papers.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm
    Permalink

    Fredette’s right. It’s ‘take what we’re offering or we’ll find someone else who will’ in regional newspapers. After 25 years in journalism I’ve never earned more than £22,000 pa – and that included positions doing an editor’s job with the editor’s responsibilities but without the editor’s title. Eventually I did what many have done – moved to where I’m properly rewarded – and respected – for my skills and experience.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm
    Permalink

    The only people in regional journalism who are not paid a pittance are the top executives. They seem to be immune from pay cuts and freezes.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 21, 2011 at 2:47 pm
    Permalink

    Ed is an Ed, Lurker. I am the editor of the site.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm
    Permalink

    Few things infuriate me more than journos moaning aout how badly paid they are. Firstly, surely anyone entering any profession should be aware of what the pay is like etc. before they take the leap. Journalists salaries are notorious for being poor compared to many other professions, that is no secret. This has always been the way, it is nothing new. Anybody who doesn’t know this clearly hasn’t got the investigative skills required of a good journalist.
    You choose to be a journalist, no one forces you to become one. So to knowlingly and willingly enter a poorly paid profession, then moan about how poor the pay is, is ridiculous.
    Fortunately, there are plenty of journalists who aren’t in the profession for the money, or for an easy life. They are in it because they passionately believe in the press, and the positive and essential role local papers play in the communities they serve.
    Every single day I pinch myself because I can’t believe how lucky I am to work in such an enjoyable and rewarding profession. It’s a scandal that more people don’t feel likewise.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 21, 2011 at 3:15 pm
    Permalink

    Lot of trolls on here having a pop at hacks for talking about low wages. Management stooges or phone hack victims?

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 22, 2011 at 10:23 am
    Permalink

    Ed’s absolutely right. I’ve been a journo for 30 years, nationals and regionals, and if there’s people prepared to do the job for £X then that’s what it’s worth! I’m afraid that most hacks I’ve known have a wonderful leaning towards old school leftie principals and don’t want to admit that we live in a free market. When I started in my early 20s I knew the money was crap unless I reached the street of shame – it’s always been the case so no point moaning about it once you’re on-board.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • July 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm
    Permalink

    Some of the comments here remind me of that Monty Python sketch of northern businessmen puffing on cigars, swigging brandies, and saying something like: “When I was a lad we lived in a cardboard box, were fed cups of cold poison and cycled 40 miles to work etc etc….”
    Journos’ pay has always been shameful and now more than ever any youngster should think about avoiding the “profession” and taking a more lucrative job away from the press. Sad but true..
    Also “markh” from Manchester brings shame on us all by being unable to spell “principle.” Get another job too, Mark…

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)

Advanced search

View Jobs by Category

Job Alerts Please log in or register to sign up for job alerts