'Ripping' culture prompts graduate journalists to flee national newspaper for PR career

More than half of recent graduate recruits on the website of one national newspaper have left to take jobs in PR due to disillusionment with its 'copy and paste' culture, according to Press Gazette.

Last week's report in the journalism trade title does not name the newspaper in question, to avoid revealing the identity of the source.

Press Gazette says that half of the paper's total intake of graduate trainees in the previous two years had since moved on to take roles in PR or marketing due to a lack of emphasis on news generation, with editors prioritising volume of content and quick turnover of work.

"The graduate trainees are all leaving and moving into PR and marketing roles. They are continually asked to do what is called a 'rip' – a copy and paste and a slight re-write, and no-one wants to do them," the source reported.

Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford wrote in the piece: "In the era of social media where readers flit from one site to another, many probably pay little notice to the original source of a story – especially when, as is often the case, a substantial amount has been lifted and the attribution is grudging and low down the piece.

"It is easy to see why many journalists, faced with the prospect of working life as a 'ripper', decide that the game is not worth the candle."

However, one comment beneath the Press Gazette story adds a cautionary note, saying: "Grads always decamped to PR, even before the churn culture. This is almost always about $$$."


Read next: 14 things journalists think about PRs that just ain't true - and also 15 things that PR pros have been told about journos that are probably wrong

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