£50 for Times contribution? ‘I would be ashamed’
We may live in an exciting futuristic digital age as journalists but sadly the rates of pay on offer in the cyberworld are looking increasingly Dickensian.
The Telegraph pays just £25 for online-only stories sent in on-spec by news agencies (compared with £40 for Mail Online and the princely sum of £50 by The Guardian).
Poverty pay rates for speculative stories also extend to print, Axegrinder hears.
Government and Public Sector Journal editor Stuart Littleford sent in a story about a nine-year-old girl who dived into a canal to save a 10-year-old boy from drowning to his local news agency Caters. They then sold it on to The Times who used the words and pictures in print and online.
They paid £50, of which £20 went to the agency.
Littleford said: “I would be ashamed if the magazine I publish paid our writers these rates for print and online, I would be too embarrassed.
“It’s not about me it just shows contempt for freelancers generally, who could make a living getting paid peanuts?”
No questions unless tweeted, please
Twitter’s UK director Bruce Daisley, a speaker at last week's PPA conference, noted that Daily Telegraph editor Tony Gallagher had said that Twitter was replacing Press Association for his journalists.
Daisley was keen to spread the good word about what a great tool Twitter is for publishers, encouraging observers to tweet questions to him on stage.
But he was less forthcoming when Axegrinder approached him after the event.
On being told Press Gazette had a couple of questions about Twitter and defamation, Daisley fled.
“I’m not sure I want to get into a big piece about defamation,” he said, explaining that it might get him in trouble with his press team.
He handed over his card and hastily left.
Daily Mail’s report on BBC bullying
Never one to play down an anti-BBC story, Axegrinder was eager to see what the Daily Mail made of last week’s report on bullying at the corporation. The report found that there was a “strong undercurrent of fear” at the BBC caused by part by “known bullies”.
“These individuals create a climate of anxiety and participants described how they live in fear that it will be their turn to be verbally abused today. People used very emotive language to describe how over time this affects their ability to do their job, as they actively avoid discussion for fear of confrontation and are reluctant to challenge any decision put forward.”
But the Mail, famed for its robust management style, decided – perhaps wisely – not to go there.