Heard the one about the journalism graduate offered a job for £10k in London? Yes, that is an actual position that came up in conversation with a friend the other day. The experience, work-wise, sounds excellent. The experience, life-wise, probably amounts to renting out a cardboard box under Hammersmith Bridge.
I only mention because ever since last month there’s been an ongoing debate rumbling on, started mainly by Ed Ceasar’s Sunday Times piece, Hold The Front Page, I Want To Be On It, where he details the lengths – and financial pain – journalism graduates have to go through to get onto a national paper. The picture painted was somewhat bleak and depressing.
Ever since Murdoch brought paywalls back into fashion like bad mullets in indie videos, I’ve been wrestling with assorted pros and cons (having heard from both sides), so I thought I’d put them down here.
So, lets take this hypothetical. David Conn is one of my favourite football writers, and somebody I would be happy to pay to read his articles.
I also enjoy reading Gabriele Marcotti’s pieces and while I’ll make a point of reading them, I probably don’t like them enough to pay for them.
Earlier today, on an Exeter City mailing list I subscribe to (yes, such things exist), Mike Blackstone posed the following question:
“What if the only players who were allowed to play in the Premier and Football League were to be born in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern ireland and the Republic of ireland? Would this not make the respective international teams stronger (eventually) as more home grown players
came through the ranks?”
I started replying, the realised it was turning into an epic consideration of all things foreign, football politics, and quite possibly ill-thought through economics of the sport. So, what the hell, I’ll post it on here.
Gawd alone knows there’s enough political bloggers who could be accused of being a bit suspect with the idea of a democratic debate and particularly nasty when it comes to (somewhat pointless) online spats, but Tim would probably be bottom of that list.
Sometimes I fear I give the Express and Echo – the newspaper for my home city of Exeter – somewhat of a rough ride. Given I know the area better than most papers, their site is one I tend to visit on a more regular basis than others, hence my worry that any criticisms are probably no more than nitpicking on my part.
And then I get days like today, where the criticism is checked least it becomes too cutting.
Hands up who remembers the dotcom bubble burst of the late 90s? Recently, I’ve sometimes mused to myself on the possibility of it happening about but with social media. Every day, there’s a new social media app, often with a ridiculous name, to be discovered. And at least half of them I haven’t got a clue what to do with.
Independent columnist Johann Hari talks a lot of sense when he speaks out about low pay in the industry, although I don’t think you need rich parents – just well off ones. Even so, it can’t be good that the majority of new entrants into journalism come from financially comfortable middle-class backgrounds.
On one hand, there is increasing professionalisation of the industry. Although I’ve met some journalists who look down on postgraduate NJTC and BJTC accredited courses, most new entrants are increasingly going down that route, either to find their first job or to make themselves more employable.