UK Journalists Sell Themselves on eBay

Watching a TV talking head or reading a article, sometimes one wonders at how much a journalist is willing to sell him/herself. Apparently in the UK, the price is about $59.

That may seem an unusual thing to say but this eBay auction for a "used" editorial staff of a southwestern English newspaper is hardly something you see every day.

Apparently, the staff of the Western Daily Press is about to be the subject of a downsizing as its parent company prepares to sell the paper and several others. To get around this, the Press's editorial staff is offering interested buyers the "the right to employ every redundant member of staff to produce the newspaper of your choice."

"This could be the start of your media empire," the listing reads, later offering a "FREE guarantee of dedication to our prospective new employer" with a promise that the staff is willing to work unpaid overtime hours.

An excerpt from the online ad:

You are about to bid in a unique auction. As you may have heard, the newspaper group Daily Mail and General Trust is looking to sell off its regional newspaper arm Northcliffe. Among the many titles that Northcliffe own is the Western Daily Press. There is a good chance that this sale may result in a large number of the staff on this paper being made redundant.

However, we are a talented and dedicated staff and wish to continue working together producing great newspapers. The winner of this auction, subject to our terms below, will have won the right to employ every redundant member of staff to produce the newspaper of your choice.

This could be the start of your media empire. You are bidding for reporters, photographers, sub-editors, feature writers, sports journalists, page designers, news editors, picture editors, graphic artists - all of the highest pedigree.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013