How many journalists do you employ?

So far as we can see, Tim Bowdler’s appearance before a cross-party House of Lords committee produced one interesting factoid. Or maybe two.

First, there was the suggestion that the number of journalists employed by Johnston Press has “remained constant over the past 10 years”.

Er, we feel sure that Bowdler said, or meant to say, something else. Given the number of acquisitions this company has undertaken, a static headcount really would indicate something amiss.

The other factoid sounds a bit closer to the mark. Apparently, the number of journalists employed by Johnston Press has increased from 25% to 30% of the total workforce during the past decade.

The relative increase sounds comforting, until you consider the number of jobs that large companies have either automated, or outsourced, out of existence since the mid-1990s.

And another thing. In absolute terms, doesn’t 30% sound a bit low? It’s an interesting metric: do the numbers look different in your neck of the woods?



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