TIMES columnist and televison face Giles Coren was on familiar form for an interview in the latest edition with the Hampstead Village Voice, a unique independent magazine which is full of acerbic observations about the changing neighbourhood. It’s kind of like a Private Eye for NW3 and there is certainly a lot of affection for it at the news stands. Sitting down with the main Village Voice man Sebastian Wocker, Coren has a lot to say about Hampstead and also his home neighbourhood, Kentish Town. And then there’s this curious exchange about money in journalism:
Hampstead Village Voice: “Back to the press, the Kentish Towner apparently just got a £30k subsidy. The Hampstead Village Voice has never received so much as £30. Blighters.”
Giles Coren: “Yes, they just printed their first paper issue and paid my wife two hundred quid, which frankly is about as much as The Guardian ever pays her (laughs).”
HVV: “The last story I wrote for a newspaper was for The Independent back in 1993 and I got £175 for it. Not a big raise for freelancers in 20 years?”
GC: “No rates haven’t gone up. In fact they have gone down. When I started writing for The Times in 1993 I was paid more per piece than junior journalists are now. It’s alright if you are me then, of course, you get paid quite a lot, but if you’re not… My wife for example is a sort of middle ranking journalist so doesn’t get paid nearly as much.”
HVV: “Surely it helps a bit that she’s your wife. Don’t they say, ‘Oh alright we’ll give her a little more’.”
GC: “Only if I negotiate it for her. No, she doesn’t get more. In fact she probably gets paid less because they think I can pay for her. And quite rightly because my wife went into journalism with the approach, ‘either I’ll become a successful journalist or I’ll marry one’.”
The full interview runs for four pages. Lots in there. You can buy the magazine from newsagents in Hampstead. Its website is HERE too.