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Welcome to Lexington’s weekly round-up of media news and the latest moves in journalism. To subscribe please email communications@lexcomm.co.uk. 

MEDIA NEWS

Mind the gap

The gender pay gap reporting deadline is looming this Thursday so we’d thought we would take a look at how some of the country’s biggest newspapers have fared so far.

  • The Telegraph Media Group came in worst of the papers and media groups we examined with a mean gender pay gap of 28.5 per cent (down from 35 per cent in 2017). In figures based on a snapshot of pay taken on April 5 last year, it also revealed a median hourly wage gap of 22.7 per cent – that means women earn 77p for every £1 their male colleagues take home.
  • The Financial Times Ltd reported a median hourly wage gap of 4 per cent – that stacks up as 82p for every £1 that men earn, an ever-so-slight improvement from 81p in 2017. Overall, the FT has a mean hourly wage gap of 22 per cent (down from 24.4 per cent).
  • The Express Newspapers paid female employees 85p for every £1 – up from 81p in 2017 with a mean hourly wage gap of 16.5 per cent (pretty consistent with last year’s 17 per cent).
  • Times Newspapers Ltd paid female employees 90p for every £1 male employees earned in 2018, up from 87p in 2017. The Times comes in second best with a mean hourly wage gap of 11.8 per cent (down from 14.3 per cent).
  • Guardian News & Media Ltd fared the best in terms of median hourly wage gap as far as we could see with women earning 92p for every male pound – a difference of just over eight per cent. This is perhaps helped by it being the only UK national newspaper with a female editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner. Viner recently rebuked claims from former editor of the Independent and the New Statesman Peter Wilby writing in the New Statesman that the paper had become too ‘feminised’ under her leadership complaining that there is ‘more about transgender issues…and breast implants than I care to read’. It is worth pointing out, however, that the Guardian’s mean hourly wage gap has risen by 0.4 per cent to 11.7 per cent…

Pay day

The Financial Times has announced that its paid readership has passed 1 million – one year ahead of schedule. CEO John Ridding addressed readers via email this morning: ‘Dear all, we’ve done it. In 2015 we set the ambition of achieving 1 million paying FT readers by 2020. I’m delighted to say that, in the last few days, we have broken through the 1 million milestone and we have done so ahead of schedule.’ The FT was one of the first papers to introduce a paywall in 2002 and digital subscriptions now account for more than three quarters of circulation.

Stormy times

The Brexit Storm: Laura Kuenssberg’s Inside Story is out tonight on BBC Two. The documentary, a Vice Studios production for the BBC, apparently offers ‘candid access’ and ‘never-seen-before footage’ of our biggest political players. An interview for Radio Times describes one scene in which Kuenssberg ‘comforts a despondent Boris Johnson as if she were his mum’ before she reveals: ‘He’s quite shy and wants to be loved’. The papers today are also full of Chief Whip Julian Smith’s comments about ministers, describing their behaviour in one clip as the ‘worst example of ill-discipline in cabinet in British political history’. Tune in a 9pm to witness it all…

Buy, buy and buy again

The Big Issue is partnering with Monzo to be the world’s first resellable magazine. The scheme, named ‘Pay It Forward’, will start printing an individual, scannable QR code on magazines. When readers pass on the magazine, the new owner can scan the code and pay the original vendor again. The idea was created to provide alternative purchasing methods to people carrying less and less cash. The project is launching with 20 vendors around the UK, who have been supported by Monzo to open bank accounts.

Digital booms

The so-called Flat White Economy is the UK’s biggest sector, growing at three times the rate of the UK economy. Apparently named for its popularity among East London creative types, the Flat White Economy encompasses media, internet and creative industries such as film, music and advertising. The sector overtook industries such as manufacturing, mining and power generation to add 14.4 per cent of gross value to the UK economy in 2018.

 

SPOTLIGHT ON DIGITAL

 

MEDIA MOVES

Associate editor of the New Statesman Helen Lewis is leaving to join The Atlantic.

Chris Smyth has been appointed Whitehall Editor at The Times. He was previously health editor at the paper.

Jack Maidment is joining the Mail Online as deputy political editor.

Gareth Lacobucci has been appointed chief reporter at the British Medical Journal.

If your organisation needs communications advice, or you would like more information about how Lexington’s team of media experts can support you, please contact caroline.nagle@lexcomm.co.uk.

To get our media round-up in your inbox every Monday, please email communications@lexcomm.co.uk.

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