Low pay in the newsroom 

23 May 2008 tbs.pm/904

One upon a time, the adage was that you joined the BBC to get the training, then when you could, you disappeared off for the better wages in the commercial world.

In local radio these days, it’s happening the other way. According to a recent article in the Guardian about pay in radio news rooms there’s around an £8,000 difference between the two for a journalist. And it’s not just small commercial stations with limited budgets – two examples given in the article are for Metro Radio and Rock FM – both large commercial stations.

The value commercial stations put on their news stations is no doubt reflected in the salaries. Many commercial stations are cutting back on news programmes (GMG Radio recently announced it would axe 15 minute long lunchtime and drivetime news bulletins on 12 of its stations in order to refocus their “news resource”), consolidating news rooms, or even putting the whole thing out to people like Sky News or IRN. Couple that with the old adage that there’s always someone out there who is willing to be paid very little money in order to work in radio, it’s not surprising there’s a pay gap.

But then, the fact that commercial radio groups don’t want to value or invest with services that reach out to the community, really shouldn’t surprise anyone…

A member of the Transdiffusion Broadcasting System
Liverpool, Wednesday 21 September 2022