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PC Pro job vacancy: news and features writer

PC Pro

By PC Pro staff

Posted on 26 May 2010 at 00:00

PC Pro, the UK’s biggest IT brand, is looking for a freelance news and features writer. The successful candidate will be expected to work on both the magazine and PC Pro’s recently redesigned website. Applicants should have an interest in technology, but above all demonstrate excellent writing skills and a keen eye for a news story.

Though primarily a writing role, there will also be opportunities for recording video and audio.

Based at Dennis Publishing’s central London offices, the candidate may also be required to represent the magazine at international events.

This is a full-time, freelance position at a rate of approximately £1,400 to £1,800 per month dependent on experience.

The Dennis difference

Our office is slap bang in the heart of the West End – just a stone’s throw away from Charlotte Street and its many bars and restaurants, five minutes from Oxford Street and Soho and right in the hub of London’s media land. In our most recent staff survey 91% of employees said they enjoyed working at Dennis and would recommend it to friends.

How to apply

Don’t worry about your CV (yet). Before we shortlist applicants, we want to know how well you write and why you think you’re right for the job. So, email a 300-word technology news story based on that day’s events to Barry Collins. Plus, send through one feature idea, either for the website or the magazine, along with a covering letter explaining what makes you perfect for PC Pro. Shortlisted applicants will be asked for a CV.

Closing date

Send your news story, idea and covering letter no later than 4 June 2010. Interviews will take place in June, at the Dennis Publishing offices.

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User comments

What a terrible Salary!

How can you expect anyone to work full-time for up to 21600pa?

By arcray on 26 May 2010

+1

In London!!!

By Bluespider on 26 May 2010

Re-advertised?

Is this the same postition that was offered as few months back?

No change in the money on offer, I notice

By greemble on 26 May 2010

Come off it!!!

Many of us work full-time for a lot less than that.

21600pa, I wish I was paid that much!!

By keltia74 on 26 May 2010

I would go for it...

But im not sure if i hav enough experience

By c_rynne on 26 May 2010

... or do enough spell checking!

By c_rynne on 26 May 2010

... or do enough spell checking!

By c_rynne on 26 May 2010

Go for it, c_rynne

Like I said last time, that's what editors are for - right Barry?

keltia74 - you might work for less, but are you in West London?
Also notice, that's an 'up to' figure

By greemble on 26 May 2010

I'm assuming being freelance meens you have the ability to submit work elsewhere, on your own time, the monthly payment will be a retainer of some sort?
If not I fail to see how it can be both 'Freelance' and 'Full Time'

By Bluespider on 26 May 2010

Oh, Cool

This is really cool, i'm a little young to be going for this (only 16) but if I was a few years older I would be ridiculously excited about this whole thing, good luck to all who enter.

By Jah_Cure on 26 May 2010

I don't think it's legal to be a full time freelance at one location.
Why on earth would you need to work at the PCPro offices, surely all you need is an internet connection and the ability to exist on a basic wage. Commuting to the office would eat up about 30% of the salary, and a flat in London would cost more to rent than the salary in total.

By stokegabriel on 26 May 2010

I think its a cheap attempt to get a raft of feature ideas without any work. also a lot of 300 word articles on current tech...

By Bluespider on 26 May 2010

rip-off

@bluespider exactly what I thought! Get stuffed! if PCPRO want your features ideas they'll have to hire you first. Be happy to provide examples of your work, but not feature ideas. Plus the salary! You get paid double that for serving coffee on BA flights!

By gavmeister on 27 May 2010

Stating the obvious

Perhaps now we can see why PC Pro articles are of such terrible quality....?

By nick_w on 27 May 2010

This is an entry-level graduate salary for OUTSIDE London, but being freelance it goes without any of the perks that a company should offer; career development, job security etc. Luckily for Dennis, the job market is such that they will get suitable applicants. I'm sure that Dennis Publishing is aware of the current employment laws that state anyone who is employed on the basis outlined in the JD above is actually going to be defined as a full time permanent employee, regardless of their statement that you will be "freelance"

By mppreece on 27 May 2010

It must be a post to fill in the vacancy after Stuart Turton's left. What a shame he did, but hey, he must have some reasons. It was only (nearly accidentally) mentioned on the last week's podcast. Not a mention anywhere, no 'goodbye' to the readers... I guess he didn't get a farewell party at the office either :>

Now, I may be unfair about people and/or events here but that's exactly what a lack of information leads to.

By Josefov on 27 May 2010

Clarifications

Just to clear up a few of the points being made in these comments:

1. This is an entry-level position, which is reflected in the salary. We're not forcing a gun to people's heads - if people don't want to work for that salary, they won't apply. Simple as that.

2. This is not a direct replacement for Stuart Turton. Nicole Kobie, who some of you may know from our sister site IT Pro, will be replacing Stuart as news editor next week.

3. Stuart will continue to blog for PC Pro.

4. Stuart did have a leaving party. Your invite must have got lost in the post, Josefov.

Barry Collins
Online Editor

By Barry_Collins on 27 May 2010

^^ROFL

Ah, Barry your presence is missed in the forums...

By Bluespider on 27 May 2010

im applying for this

for someone just finishing college it looks like a good chance

By Deathtaker27 on 27 May 2010

@Barry

Point taken. I could have just asked instead of provoking. And let us assume you'd be just as keen to answer :D

By Josefov on 27 May 2010

a few but not all of the comments cleared up

what about my point about bluespider's point about features ideas. What do you do with the ideas from unsuccessful candidates, if indeed anyone is successful?

Plus £1400 per month is just a whisker above the London Living Wage, which is basically the national minimum wage plus extra cost of living in London. Frankly scandalous.

By gavmeister on 27 May 2010

@barry

Frankly this job ad is an own goal: it puts me off PCPRO. Why? because paying your junior journalists these peanuts is (a) ethically wrong for a market-leading brand, and (b) can only affect standards.

I await your charming response!

By gavmeister on 27 May 2010

More answers

A couple more answers for the subsequent points raised:

1. The suggested feature ideas are used only to gauge the candidate's suitability. We would never steal the ideas for magazine/web features.

2. Compared to other entry-level journalism jobs, we believe the salary on offer is competitive. We've already had several candidates apply for the position, which suggests they think it's acceptable too.

PC Pro has a long tradition of nuturing journalists and promoting from within. Several of our staff/former staff have gone on to work for national newspapers. Talented individuals will be rewarded.

Barry Collins
Online Editor

By Barry_Collins on 27 May 2010

I'll just sit and have a boggle

When they say "must have a nose for a news story" I guess they should add "and avoid making stuff up like some commenters." I'd stand for "I talked to X after he left and he didn't even have a leaving party" but "I bet he didn't even..." is, let's face it, a comment made up, with no more basis in fact than the commenter feels like saying it. Like other commenters here, I know plenty of people who live (some almost obscenely well) on less than £21k p.a. and I also know lots of freelancers who avoid IR35 provisions by sticking to the clearly defined methods for doing that...

By Steve_Cassidy on 27 May 2010

I'm a freelance author writing IT books for Wiley and I can tell you 21k is actually not bad. I actually only do it part time but even full time I guess I'd struggle to make more than 15k a year.

In the good old days when it was Wrox press I could expect £45k and more. Tough world out there now...

By cyberindie on 27 May 2010

@Steve_Cassidy

Since part of your comment seems to be aimed at me, I would like to ask you to read it again, this time carefully.

I didn't say 'I bet...' I said 'I guess...'. I should think there is quite a big difference between these two's level of conviction.

I have also said that '
I may be unfair about people and/or events here but that's exactly what a lack of information leads to' which very clearly indicates that I am fully aware that I might not be right and I also point out the reasons why.

On top of that, after Barry's reply I have admitted to be provoking on purpose. I also acknowledged that my method was not perfect. Now, I'll cease to make assumptions and let you fully explain how all this compares with your: 'a comment made up' and 'no more basis in fact than the commenter feels like saying it' which I found mildly offensive.

Longing to hear from you

By Josefov on 27 May 2010

@Barry_Collins

quote: PC Pro has a long tradition of nuturing journalists

lol I assume you meant nurturing? or was this a freudian slip? the latter would explain quite a lot :S

I admit, I have no knowledge of journalistic pay scales or how the industry works, I was just a bit taken aback by what I percieve as a low wage for London for such a high profile publication...

I Stand corrected.

By Bluespider on 27 May 2010

@steve cassidy

you really are not afraid of diving in headfirst without engaging brain are you?!

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/357979/jobs-ipad-bring
s-freedom-from-porn

Quite what possesses a professional journalist to flame their own loyal readers like this is beyond me. I know geeks like us lack social skills but this is ridiculous!

@Joefov's suspicions about why Stuart Turton's departure was kept so quiet is precisely the kind of nose for a story good journalists need. Putting together the circustantials, then wheedling out the facts - something which has illicted PCPRO responses which are certainly "interesting" in their tone, if not directly incriminating. The overreaction of your response is but another part of the jigsaw, although judged against your other output nothing out of the ordinary.

@Josefov claimed no basis in fact, "I guess" is clearly speculation, Barry confirmed the facts, where's the need for your intervention?

Re the salary, let's be clear here. £1400 per month is at the bottom of the offered scale. This equates to just under £17k per year before tax, justo over £8 an hour. This is the London Living Wage of £7.60 (i.e. subsistence. subsistence = zero disposable income living in the cheapest part of london). The LLW is the poverty threshold, the POVERTY THRESHOLD (£6.65 ph), plus a secure margin ensuring that the person involved does not fall to the level of poverty wages because of unforeseen events.

My cleaner earns £9 per hour.

If that's reasonable I'm a banana (change of username to follow).

By gavmeister on 27 May 2010

Gav, it sounds like you need to have a walk round the block. If all you want it to be told everything's just fine, then I am not your man. I've been in metings where senior industry figures say "all web feedback is from nutters, and can be discarded". As a columnist, I feel obliged to report this. For you to mistake the motivation is unfortunate - for you to accuse me of lecturing, is impolite. For you to demand freedom of speech at the expense of mine, is simply hypocritical.

If you treat all feedback as a flame, then I guess you are doomed to remain un-listened to; and I'm putting effort into you, against the advice of my colleagues, because I think you often have a point. Not because I want to "lecture you". I operate much like Harvey Keitel's character in "From Dusk till Dawn", who asked George Clooney's character: "are you such a loser you can't tell when you've won?".

Stuart is jsut as free to comment as you or I. If he had been 'whisked away' from a loving public, there would have been no announcement at all; I expct he's a bit busy but he's equally likely to come back and provide all the loving comfort you (seem) to need, if that will help you to calm down.

You can be as much of a banana as you want over wages. I don't seek to contest statistics, and I don't need to aspire to the dizzy heights of professionalism to be able to say, simply as a free-speaking participant, that I know people who live, very well indeed, on that wage and below. They are not materialists; they don't especially associate good writing or a commitment to honesty, with being paid a lot of money. Please, in future, consider the possibility that you are being invited to step aside from your preconceptions, when people take the trouble to talk to you. And I would like it if Mr Winder would stop waving that 'DNFTT' t-shirt he keeps offering to hand out...

By Steve_Cassidy on 27 May 2010

PS, while I am looking at my bookshelves; I am an enormous Alvin Hall fan. His book on managing mony and debt is a superb read, and remarkable for the way that it looks at materialism and earning power and lifestyle - without rancour, judgements, pecking-order strutting, or intrusive dogma.

By Steve_Cassidy on 27 May 2010

troll, moi?

I'm honoured! Thanks for the response. I wonder if the FT, the only other site I comment on, and who regularly print my letters, also consider me one?...

p.s. I'm an Alvin Hall fan as well. Up there with Michael Lewis.

By gavmeister on 27 May 2010

web feedback nutters

the problem with those industry figures is that they are only 80% right. 20% of web feedback is, of course, not from nutters.

not that I'm claiming to be anywhere near that 20% *twitches*

By gavmeister on 27 May 2010

@steve, finally

Your point about preconceptions is a good one, but so is my central point, which is this:

you can either be the country's leading IT brand, or pay just-above-poverty-level wages. but not both.

By gavmeister on 28 May 2010

Brilliant

A flame war over a job vacancy posting. That is truly marvellous. Perhaps we should canvas the government to allow this on the jobseekers website? Think of the fun that can be had ridiculing the pay of forklift truck drivers?

By ricksters on 28 May 2010

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