WDP staffers auction themselves

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-incheek advert 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
(Southwest average salary 2005: £22,205/Payfinder)n 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 three, four 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
said they have enjoyed working together so much for such a long time
that their only chance of staying together and of producing a quality
paper would be to find themselves a new owner.

The highest bid so far is £34.

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