Response to Welsh

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Telegram reporter takes exception to comments

I've been anticipating today's post, though it has taken longer than expected.

My post of June 17, in which Craig Welsh wrote of his years working with community newspapers, contained the following contentious claim:

I will also make this point as strongly as I can... there is absolutely no justification that can see a community newspaper reporter making in some cases more than $10,000 less a year than a Telegram reporter. None. Community newspaper reporters work as hard as anyone in the Telegram newsroom... for community newspaper reporters to be paid $22,000 a year (at a guess, taking inflation into account) while someone doing essentially the same job in St. John's to be making about $32,000 is, frankly, bullshit.

Today, I received this comment from a Telegram reporter, who wished to remain anonymous (I thought the comments were fairly innocuous and asked if I could use the person's name, but no dice).

To those who might think it's "bullshit" that Telegram reporters are on a different scale than community papers, it's not quite as simple as all that. The cost of housing is far different in St. John's than in many other communities. As well, The Telegram is a daily with many filing pressures and the requirement to turn stories around on a dime for both the paper and the Internet. There are daily responsibilities to cover the happenings in court, the House of Assembly when it is in session, as well as complex events, all the while turning the stories around quickly, while adding value over broadcast.

That being said, everyone deserves an adequate wage and it is a struggle for everyone to keep up with the cost of living, and soaring fuel prices. That makes better paying jobs so attractive, despite how much anyone might love their job or how good they are at it. We all have to pay our bills.

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  • Russell
    July 27, 2010 - 14:53

    Just one other thought on this topic as well - I have worked in weeklies, in television and in daily newspapers, and I've regularly been told by people in one group that they work harder than those who work in other media. Here's the thing, though: the television reporters who tell me their job is harder than print reporters often haven't worked in print, and staff from weeklies who complain that television or daily print is much easier often haven't tried daily newspapers or television or even radio. Reporters who have worked across a variety of media in the province don't make as much of a fuss - what they will tell you is that each of the jobs have their own benefits and their own particular down-sides. It's not easy or well paid anywhere (well, anywhere outside of truly national media organizations like the CBC, who are at least on par with the rest of the country) and it's all very hard work, when it's done right.