Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Wow, such a lot to contemplate in recent days...

The over-arching issue is, of course, the announcement of a new daily newspaper; i (apparently it is supposed to be in italics, as all modern titles should be, naturally, as a single, italicised letter clearly means cutting edge and new).

It's going to cost us 20p and from what I can gather, is intended to give us all of our news, in a deep enough format to make it interesting, yet still take something like 25 seconds to read in order to fit in with our hectic lifestyles.

So which is it? Is it the Metro? Or simply a butchered Indy? Either way, it'll be interesting to see whether it can challenge the early-morning dominance of the free, unitalicised, Metro.

The most ironic journalism news of the week however could only go to one issue. Newsquest.

Our esteemed friends from across the pond, at parent company Gannett, have really put their feet in said pond with comments made last week.

Gracia Martore, president and CEO (you have to say that with an American accent don't you?), is reported to have said: "Let me once and for all dispel the myth that Newsquest doesn't make money.

"Newsquest makes a lot of money. In fact, their margin, as I have said a couple times, is consistent with the margin that our local US Community Publishing operations generate.

"So their margins are in the high teens to low 20s and they have consistently made money throughout the years."

Oh right, well, that's okay then! If you're so chuffed Gracia, why not reward your staff? Oh, my mistake, you have, in the form of a 20% pay rise to one "top earning director" (believed to be Newsquest chief executive Paul Davidson).

The irony, of course, came in the form of a news story published in the hours following this brilliant news from the US regarding Newsquest, that jobs were to go as two new subbing hubs were being created in southern England, including shipping The Argus subs from Brighton to Southampton.

And which company is responsible for this? Newsquest of course, who are so good at making money.

While we're at it, I would urge Newsquest to issue a statement addressing the concerns of many friends of mine who work for that group, which is clearly so successful, on why there is a group-wide pay freeze which clearly, if we are to believe Gracia, only runs up to the buffers of "top earning directors".

Clearly, this is a cleverly-worded piece of super-jargon that is so clever and cunning that none of us will realise no journalist will ever have a cat in hell's chance of getting such a rise because when would one ever be a "top earning director".

It's enough to make you puke isn't it?

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