UK’s Daily Telegraph to link journalist salaries to article popularity

A report by the Guardian cited a letter by the publication’s editor for plans to incorporate the Stars system that monitors number of clicks online and subscription rate for payroll.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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UK-based publication the Guardian reported on Tuesday that British daily, the Daily Telegraph, intended to link some elements of journalists’ pay to the popularity of their articles and “link performance to reward using subscription data”.

An email sent out by the editor, Chris Evans, on March 11 revealed that the publication wanted to incorporate the ‘Stars’ system that scores stories published online according to parameters such as the number of clicks or subscriptions they drive.

While he admitted that the details of the system were complicated and that they were not in a position to go ahead with it yet, he said, “It seems only right that those who attract and retain the most subscribers should be the most handsomely paid.”

Reporters at the publication were “outraged” at the idea and felt “compromised”, Guardian reported. They believed that the system would “tip the Telegraph down a clickbait plughole” and said that “algorithmic commissioning linked to pay is a crime against journalism.”

The general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, Michelle Stanistreet, added that the move by the daily “shows scant regard for the importance of diverse quality journalism” and would “massively demoralise journalists”.

She said, “The Telegraph’s plan to introduce clickbait scoring to pay and reward journalists is crass and shows scant regard for the importance of diverse quality journalism. For a publisher that purports to have high journalistic standards at its core, this is a foolish move that will undermine its reputation and massively demoralise the journalists whose work is at the heart of the business.”


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