Roy Greenslade’s blog had a couple of interesting posts yesterday.
The first, which went live at 08.40am, was headlined ‘US journalists on the rich list‘. This referred to a New York Times graphic which put 7,282 journalists among the 1% of the ‘very rich’ in American society. Sadly, none were named.
The second piece, posted at 12.11, was about Trinity Mirror CEO Sly Bailey’s evidence to the Leveson Inquiry. This piece was headlined ‘Sly Bailey tells it like it is – recruitment ad take falls from £150m to £20m‘. Greenslade praised Bailey for telling the truth about the ever-contracting newspaper industry, citing an especially memorable quote about the effect of the global economic downturn: “It’s almost like a falling knife that’s been getting sharper on the way down.”
Intriguingly, this piece, also on The Guardian’s website, reveals that in 2010 the estimable Bailey received a bonus of £660,000 after Trinty Mirror tripled its profits from £42m to £123m, thus taking her earnings that year to £1.66m.
Is it us, or is there a conundrum – nay, perhaps even a paradox – in all this? Could it be that the media industry’s woes are not solely the fault of that dastardly force for evil, The Internet, allied with a pesky recession, but that they’re also generated by inflated salaries going into the pockets of those at the top?
No, surely not. There is no money in journalism. The online law editor’s job for one the nationals was recently advertised – £25,000, in central London. On the regionals junior journos are on £10,000-£15,000. Soon they’ll have to pay to work. And then, imagine the shareholder profits!