A. Hard to say. But as Carrie Gracie reveals in a heated exchange with Lord Foulkes, she's paid £92 grand.
12 May 2009 - 3:18pm
Fair play to her for being straight with him, though. It would have looked worse to avoid the question, I think.
As one commenter points out on the Guardian story about this, BBC News goes out to countries all over the world, so maybe that merits her salary.
She was kind of asking for it, though, I think, her line of questioning was a bit ridiculous:
"Why should the public go short of health care, of education, of prison services, just for the sake of somebody's chandelier or second home?"
A chandelier causing a cut in national spending? She was overstepping the line a bit there.
It must be scary having the questions turned on you, though!
12 May 2009 - 4:52pm
Was very entertaining to watch that. Whether £92 grand is an agreeable sum or not, it is admirable the way Carrie Gracie stuck up for herself amidst jibes from a clearly outraged politician. One wonders whether (although Lord Foulkes has a lower salary, £64 grand) she gets anywhere near Lord Foulkes' expenses payments or whether she gets any at all?
Perhaps the job of a presenter (especially on the BBC as I think Sky do a better job with questioning interviewees, links and captioning on their rolling news service) in terms of their salary is questionable because of the seemingly sparse amount they do. However we need a presentable figure for the public to deliver news and organisations couldn't do without presenters, which in the heat of the moment Lord Foulkes may put to the back of his mind.
Anyway, whatever, it is great entertainment to see him get so rattled considering recent events. He deserved (on behalf of MPs) to be told his failings in a 'chandelier' way.
14 May 2009 - 7:53am
We were talking about this in the newsroom yesterday. At first sight she did the right thing because she (presumanbly) gave an honest answer -- and it's good to be honest since we are in the business of telling the truth and getting other people to tell the truth.
The argument against, though, is that it turns the interview around and hands control to the interviewee.
According to this view, what she could have said was something along the lines of: "I'm asking the questions, not you. You are employed and paid by the taxpayer and I am a private citizen whose salary is none of your business."
Otherwise, as happened to the unfortunate newsreader in question, the reporter's salary becomes the subject of the discussion and the interviewee is off the hook.
14 May 2009 - 8:44am
Carrie Gracie's revelation has advertised an issue the BBC prefers to avoid. Reasonably or not, licence payers get almost as angry about high salaries at the BBC as they do about MPs' expenses. I wrote about this story for the Guardian. You can read the piece and the discussion that followed here.
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