BBC publishes top salaries
Under pressure from the conservative government the BBC published a report on Wednesday that reveals for the first time how much its top presenters earn. The fact that two-thirds of the broadcaster's top earners are men has caused a public outcry. With a salary of 2.5 million euros, its highest paid male star earns five times as much as its top female presenter. Is the anger justified?
Pay gap is a disgrace
The BBC's good reputation may be seriously damaged by the report, The Independent fears:
“The UK's media landscape has long been the envy of other countries, thanks to the quality of the BBC's coverage and unwavering dependability. After Wednesday's report, that could well change. Yes, that would be tragic. Especially in times of political turmoil and deep divisions, where much of the global media landscape is controlled by moguls and politicians, we need a solid institution with rock-hard morals and professionalism at its core. But we also need an organisation that can keep up with necessary societal changes and reflect the communities we live in - both in terms of the principles it portrays on screen and in terms of those it practices when the studio lights go out.”
Debate avoids the real issue
The Neue Zürcher Zeitung is bothered by the fact that discussion focuses on salaries:
“The numbers are incomplete: a comparison with other broadcasters is lacking. Competitors already sniff a chance to woo away some of the Corporation's best talents. And the BBC's female staff in particular should be thinking about demanding higher pay. Discussion of fee-financed broadcasting services should focus on the mission society has entrusted them with, not on the salaries of their 'stars'.”