The UK’s National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has launched a major campaign against low pay – targeting Newsquest, one of the country抯 biggest news publishers.
Newsquest is the second largest regional news publisher in the UK, employing around 8,800 staff, producing more than 300 newspaper titles and publishing 93 related web sites. Newsquest is owned by US media giant Gannett which last year recorded profits of �0m.
The NUJ claims that some qualified senior Newsquest journalists earn as little �,000 – compared with a more typical starting salary of �,000 for senior journalists at Carlton TV and �,000 at the BBC.
No journalist at business publisher Reed Business Information earns less than �,000, and further research in the magazine industry showed that the average reporter’s wage is �,000.
Trainee reporters at many Newsquest titles are paid as little as �,000.
The union has submitted pay claims at several Newsquest branches demanding a 12 per cent pay rise over the next two years.
“Despite winning many awards and making millions of pounds in profit, virtually every single journalist in Newsquest earns below the national average wage for a non-manual worker,” said Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary.
“The aim of our campaign is to highlight the appalling levels of pay and to work towards achieving professional levels of pay for professional people.”