Which newspaper group can boast of having made the highest number of hacks so miserable they quit and went into PR? It is hard to come up with a definite answer, since it is such a competitive field.
Recent TBs have speculated
that there is a glut of hacks ringing up flak firms and saying: “I’m a journalist get me out of here”. The evidence is moving from the anecdotal to the physical. For some of the hacks, a life in PR is going to suit them and their employer perfectly.
It’s a happy marriage of more than just convenience. But in some cases they were driven there by fairly beastly working practices.
Two thoughts here: newspapers are surely at some point going to have to realise that there must be something very wrong with how they treat staff if that many are so willing to chuck it in. The demotivating techniques employed to make them want to quit are strong stuff indeed.
And the notion that there is always an equally able back-up to replace the defector is being tested to destruction. No other industry is so blasé about watching talent just walk out the door.
For the PR firms providing the rescue boat to the hacks – a tip of the hat. Perhaps there should be some sort of government grant. But none of this sounds healthy for newspapers.