Friday, June 12, 2020

Church in rural England posts want ad for journalist

Newspapers all over the world, especially smaller local ones, are suffering from declining advertising revenues in the wake of the pandemic. Initiatives such as Giving NewsDay and Support Local News have been launched to encourage the public to subscribe, advertise and donate to local newsrooms, and some have suggested government funding via for public-service announcements but one rural British church has a more straightforward idea: it's hiring its own journalist.

St. Margaret's Church in Rainham, a town in the southeastern county of Kent (near the White Cliffs of Dover) has posted a want ad for a full-time journalist to write stories, some about the church and some about the community. The position pays £20,000, which is almost $25,000, Harriet Sherwood reports for The Guardian.

The church posted the ad after surveyed parishioners said they wanted more local news. "For thousands of years, it is storytelling which has kept communities together. Now, more than ever before we need someone like you to tell our stories so that we might stay together even when physically we are apart," the ad says. "Whether it’s telling the story of the local fish shop, how the restaurant owners are coping whilst shut or the history behind The Oast House and what it’s doing now – we want a multi-skilled, qualified journalist to join our staff team as soon as possible."

"This is one of the best testimonies I have ever seen for the need and desire for local news," said Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, which publishes The Rural Blog. "The solution isn’t ideal, but it should make us think about better ways to support local journalism."

No comments: