What happens when hacks move into management

Tomorrow's Business

Flaks sometimes ask me why hacks who seem perfectly happy in their work chose to risk it all to move into a management position.

In so doing, they give up the things they like – reporting, writing, lunching – to do things they don’t – sit in meetings, prepare lists, get shouted at by the editor.

I think the answer is that in hackery, especially in these austere times, there is hardly any way to move up the pay scale otherwise.

Unless you’re a really star reporter or columnist, salaries in journalism are flat at best.

I’ve had a couple of goes at management, and I can’t say the results were a complete success.

I asked Sky News’ Ian King, a former business editor of The Times, no less, what he thinks. He replied:

“There is no management job harder than trying to manage journalists. It would be easier taking a bunch of pensioners with Alzheimers on a charabanc outing to the seaside.”

Harsh. But fair. So be kind to the hack in the new management job. The poor bloke has no idea what he’s doing.

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