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Fewer Hacks Means Less Work For Flaks

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Fewer hacks means less work for flaks

Rumours are growing that The Guardian is considering another voluntary redundancy scheme for hacks.

It last did this in July 2020 when 180 roles went. By the sounds of it, that wasn’t enough to make up for falling revenues.

Back then, the paper blamed the pandemic. Critics say its insistence on making most content free – however admirable that might be – is a bigger factor this time.

The Graun won’t be alone. The FT had a VR programme around Christmas time, and quite a few big names went.

A clear out at The Telegraph seems inevitable once its ownership battle is sorted.

The Times seems to prefer more of a drip-drip approach to hacking back staff. That drip is still going.

Some of these redundancy deals, notably at The Guardian, will be generous indeed.

I know well paid people who have walked away with two years money, and in some cases resumed shift work at the paper just months later.

Plainly, VR is most appealing to those near the end of their careers who have the longest service records, and the fattest cheques to collect.

The flak trade might cynically welcome these developments – fewer experienced hacks with which to wrestle and lose.

On the other hand, clients might notice they hardly need a bunch of very well-paid flaks to fend off The Guardian’s investigation team if that team has been cut in half.

The flak trade has seen all this coming of course, and been preparing for the demise of the printed press by selling other services to clients. Internal comms and other strategic advice.

That must be less satisfying than fighting with us.

We’re the fun bit of your job. Admit it.

Press release of the day

What are the most commonly breached passwords? Database group Red9 says “123456”, “qwerty” and “password” are the most easily guessed by hackers.

Mark Varnas says: “In light of these findings, users are strongly encouraged to adopt more robust password practices to enhance their digital security.”

Stories that will keep rolling

1) McDonald’s price hikes are putting off customers. Business Insider

2) Uber posts first full-year profit. FT 

3) Record fall in fossil fuel use. Sky News

4) Carlsberg hit by £4.7bn loss after Putin seizes Russian business. Telegraph

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