Thursday, January 11, 2018

Where's Sarah ?

Today editor Sarah Sands seems to have been missing from the deck, at least physically, on the morning of the Carrie Gracie Special Edition. She writes in a New Statesman diary that "an overnight delay on a flight home from Cape Town gave me a distant perspective".

"As a relative newcomer, I watch in wonder at the standards the corporation is expected to maintain. Can you imagine any newspaper offering transparency on all salaries, with a guarantee that journalists with similar responsibilities are paid the same, irrespective of circumstance? The protest by Carrie Gracie speaks to a deeper truth. There is an angry weariness with male power structures. It is true that men at the BBC have been paid more, as in all other businesses, but it is a complicated problem. Do you throw more cash at it, or try to bring down the salaries of those who have benefited in the past? " [Sarah presides, apparently helplessly, over a healthy spread - Sarah Montague < £150k, John Humphrys >£600k.]

"Our team discussions about the awkwardness of Gracie presenting Radio 4’s Today, while also being the story, covered only the maintenance of impartiality.....Everyone is trying to do the right thing. In a previous life, in which HR departments were basically a firing squad, if a staff journalist had denounced the Evening Standard in another newspaper the discussion would have been less good-natured. That is what gives me continuing faith in the BBC."

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