As coronavirus threatens to kill off print papers, a salaried opportunity for a journalist has arisen with a church in Rainham, Kent
In April, The Guardian’s Roy Greenslade highlighted the ongoing decline of newspapers in the UK and suggested the coronavirus pandemic would only accelerate this. Going further we argued that this “epoch of change” would make us all the poorer, but, now, we can share a positive piece of news about the press.
Highlighted this morning in the Guardian with the headline: “The good news: Kent church posts vacancy for journalist,” Harriet Sherwood reported that the St Margaret’s parish church in Rainham, Kent is “hiring a full-time journalist to help ‘build community life’ after a survey of parishioners found a demand for local news and communication.”
In their advert for the £20,000 per year salaried post, the church announced:
“For thousands of years, it is story telling which has kept communities together. Now, more than ever before we need someone like you to tell our stories so that we might stay together even when physically we are apart.”
“Whether it’s telling the story of the local fish shop, how the restaurant owners are coping whilst shut or the history behind ‘The Oast’ House and what it’s doing now – we want a multi skilled, qualified journalist to join our staff team as soon as possible.”
“Half of the stories you produce will focus on the local community – its people and groups, schools and new housing. The other half will focus on telling the story of the church, its people, purpose and history. You’ll also take a lead on all of our digital content including overseeing the live streaming of our services. We believe this is an exciting opportunity to make a real difference in a local community through serious journalism.”
The successful candidate will be expected to “originate and produce a wide variety of news and current affairs content for relevant output across the church’s digital platforms and to oversee St Margaret’s digital presence/profile” and will report to the vicar and church wardens.
Of why they had decided to make such an appointment, the bishop of Tonbridge Simon Burton Jones, told the Guardian:
“The shrinkage in local journalism as advertising gravitates online is already having really important consequences at community level. As local papers disappear … their long-standing and important links with their communities can be lost. Online alternatives like clickbait, lists, gossip and the like are no substitute for real journalism.”
A closing date of 22nd June has been set for applications.