03 March 2006

Independent editor issues veiled threat

Simon Kelner, editor-in-chief of the Independent, has claimed that the 2.5% pay rise Independent News & Media is offering is "as generous as we can (be) in the circumstances". Staff have been warned that if journalists do not accept the company’s pay offer job losses will inevitably follow. National Union of Journalist members will vote on whether to strike in support of a 5% pay rise.

"If our pay offer is accepted, we will make an undertaking that there will be no compulsory redundancies for the next 12 months," Kelner said.

With too many people desperate to break into the media and work for peanuts, journalists are finding that increasingly pay rises do not correspond to national trends in other industries. Reports of journalists with post-graduate qualifications working for just £10,000 a year are widespread and a Google search will bring up numerous stories on the subject. However, as long as students continue to be prepared to work for low-level wages this trend will continue with someone always willing to work for less and more good journalists moving into PR.

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