Northcliffe staff offer themselves for sale on Ebay

by Sarah Lagan

Journalists at the Western Daily Press in Bristol who are facing redundancy have put themselves up for auction on Ebay.

The
WDP staff say they are doubtful that DMGT’s plan to sell its regional
newspaper arm Northcliffe as a whole will find them a responsible
proprietor. They have taken matters into their own hands and placed a
tongue in cheek advert on Ebay searching for “a caring owner”. The ad
for the journalists says: “Condition: Used. A succession of careful
owners over almost 150 years, followed by one neglectful one (Viscount
Rothermere). Sold as seen. In full working order. Some minor defects
offset by an abundance of creative brilliance and willingness to work
hard.”

It continues: “This could be the start of your media
empire. You are bidding for reporters, photographers, sub-editors,
feature writers, sports journalists, page designers, news editors,
picture editors, graphic artists – all of the highest pedigree. While
employing such a successful newspaper staff may seem prohibitively
expensive, the average salary in most departments is below the National
Average Salary (South-west average salary 2005: £22,205/Payfinder) and
the lowest paid receive many thousands of pounds less than this.

“We
are happy also to offer a FREE guarantee of dedication to our
prospective new employer. Many of us already work 3, 4 or more hours of
unpaid overtime every day without complaining and we will gladly do so
for our new employer.”

Journalists at the award-winning morning
paper say they have enjoyed working together so much for such a long
time and that their only chance of staying together and to produce a
quality paper would be to find themselves a new owner.

The highest bid so far is £10.50.

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