Jeepers, I know journalism is badly paid but what?

Peter Ormerod:

In the interests of full disclosure, then – and I feel some trepidation about doing this – I was paid £31,538 last year, including my salary and freelance commissions. I feel like I’ve just bared a bit of my soul. But it’s just some money.

Whut? Marginally above median national income for being in the nationals?

23 comments on “Jeepers, I know journalism is badly paid but what?

  1. “Were it any indication of real worth, then cleaners and carers would earn more than Chris Evans.”

    And they’d all earn stratospherically more than Polly Toynbee….

  2. What is “real worth”? It’s this Guevarian idea of cost being a function of “social worth” rather than value add.

    It should be blatently obvious that cleaners have low value add and essentially perform a luxury service that other people *could* do themselves (but don’t want to).

  3. It says at the top that he’s freelance – but he also receives a salary. A bit confusing.

    Still, we’d expect the freelancer to receive a bit less: the freedom to work from home and when you want comes with a price.

  4. ‘What is “real worth”? It’s this Guevarian idea of cost being a function of “social worth” rather than value add.’

    You’re right, abacab. But it also goes deeper than that – back to the theory of a just price in Catholic social theory and in ancient Greek philosophy.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_price

  5. Freelance definitely has advantages, especially for those with in demand skills. For others, it is not so much about the freedom to work when you want to, but the freedom for clients only to use you when they want to.

    Our cleaner charges AUD$35 per hour and is in huge demand because she is very professional. She can get very close to the median household income on her own without her husband’s contribution. B

  6. I wonder if the Guardian will be releasing data on how much they pay their staff? And if men’s pay is higher than women’s? Doubt it.

  7. My guess is that there’ll be at least as big a discrepancy between male and female pay at the Guardian as there is at the BBC. If there wasn’t then they’d have made a big song and dance about it already.

    (I’m doubting that they’ll release their data, not doubting pay is unequal)

  8. ““Were it any indication of real worth, then cleaners and carers would earn more than Chris Evans.””

    While I fucking hate not having the option to pay the TV Tax, and I fucking hate Chris Evans, Evans is possibly one of the worst arguments regarding pay.

    He took over the R2 morning show and added a million listeners. There’s nothing else that had that effect. I don’t know if that’s exactly how the BBC should think, but if I ran a commercial station and a new DJ promised an extra annual listener for £2 each, I think I’d probably be interested.

  9. This mashes in to Tim’s following post. Just because we think Chris Evan’s is a waste of our taxes, it doesn’t mean that he is.

    If you assume that al-Beeb should be following a populist model. Which is clearly what it is doing (for a nauseatingly metro-wanker definition of ‘popular’. High-brow shit for them and their precious kiddies and low brow shit for the proles.)

  10. “Noel Edmonds killed my Cat during a stunt gone horribly wrong” would get a bigger payday Steve.

  11. Is “national” relevant when so much is national/international via the internet?

    It seems to me that this level of so-so commentary just has almost no value. You could make a good living when there were high barriers to entry of printing presses, but blogs, Huff Po, Medium have opened it up to everyone. There’s still a reasonable market for people who can add something, whether that’s style or expertise.

  12. “Were it any indication of real worth, then cleaners and carers would earn more than Chris Evans.”

    Jeez, marginalism……

  13. The real worth of any job is how difficult it is to train someone to do it. For a cleaner, if someone can’t learn it in a week, there is a serious problem. Minimum wage jobs can generally be learned in a couple of weeks. You can hire someone with no basic skills to do them. That is why they command only minimum wage. If you want more, you need to do something that is more difficult to learn or do and that some people can’t do.

  14. Monbiot publishes his income. He doesn’t seem to have a contract with the guardian at the moment, but the previous year he got £67000 from them I think. Anyhow it’s all on his website. Much as I despise him you can’t accuse him of hiding anything.

    It seems the are still sucker’s buying his books too.

  15. I’m surprised it was that high. The vast majority of the content in the nationals is written by interns and minimum-wagers. Only a handful of senior journalists and editors even break into the higher-rate tax bracket.

    For the most part, not only are the interns unpaid, but they may actually have to pay for the privilege of working 60+ hour weeks churning out drivel – it’s a bit like the competition to get into investment banking, only without the rewards for success.

  16. He’s making nearly four times the new-style state retirement pension. Obscene!

    P.S. Nobody can disagree that the Beeb overpays Mr Alan Shearer, since his value as a football analyst is probably negative. Though I suppose he does give you a chance to pop out for a pee. Therefore it should be the water and sewage companies that pay him, not the Beeb. Rather fitting really.

  17. He took over the R2 morning show and added a million listeners. There’s nothing else that had that effect. I don’t know if that’s exactly how the BBC should think, but if I ran a commercial station and a new DJ promised an extra annual listener for £2 each, I think I’d probably be interested.

    While the number of listeners clearly indicates how popular the BBC is, it does nothing to indicate its value. A commercial station would be offering more ears to its advertisers; what is the BBC offering?

  18. Mohave Greenie: “The real worth of any job is how difficult it is to train someone to do it.”

    Well that’s bollocks. The real worth of any job is how much you can blag off your employer. Or, to put it another way, what it’s worth to someone else. You might think that asking “do you want fries with that?” is worth $15 an hour, but if your employer disagrees, tough shit. And there are lots of jobs that are exceedingly difficult, but not in much demand, so no-one makes any money doing them.

  19. Dear Mr Worstall

    “Chris Evans on BBC gender pay gap: ‘This is the beginning of it being redressed’ “

    Does that mean he’s going all Eddie Izzard?

    DP

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