Naomi quits Norwich for India

As the NUJ this week announced plans for a day of action over an ‘industry in crisis’– Press Gazette has learned of a reporter who has quit the UK to start a new career as a journalist in Mumbai.

Former Norwich Evening News senior reporter and business correspondent Naomi Canton has gone to work for the Hindustan Times in Mumbai .

Canton said she has become disillusioned with the British press in the wake of falling sales and widespread redundancies. By contrast, Indian newspaper sales increased 12.93 per cent in 2006 and 53.63 per cent over the past five years.

Canton said: ‘Circulation of newspapers in India is booming; the Hindustan Times recruited 30 journalists in January, which is unheard of in the British press.

‘It is quite depressing working in the print industry in the UK. When I joined it wasn’t in decline, and I wanted to work in newspapers because it was the most respected medium. But now it’s difficult; you feel like you are in an industry that is in decline with redundancies across the board on a national and regional level. I know that the Hindustan Times is pro-actively seeking foreign writers because they are conscious that India is opening up to the West and globalising.”

Since arriving in India, Canton said the lifestyle is ‘quite a struggle”, but that the salary was ‘acceptable”. Canton, 34, said: ‘I’m not on a fat-cat expat deal with flat and relocation costs thrown in, but they are offering me a decent wage that is comparable to one in the West.”

Larry Kilman, director of communications at the World Association of Newspapers, warned that despite growing print circulation Indian journalism still has a way to go.

‘Journalists will not get anywhere near the salary on the Hindustan Times that they would get on a British national newspaper,’he explained. ‘Despite the problems in the British press it is still one of the biggest press markets in the world. It is growing in India, but that is because there is tremendous room for growth; they are not comparable markets.

‘There certainly isn’t a growing trend of people going out to work there. I would say the relationship between journalists’ salaries in India to the standard of living would probably be the same to that of the UK. Circulation is shedding in the UK, but not at a gigantic rate.”

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