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.