Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Multitude of media contacts

The Welfare State We Are In reports on the mass of media contacts employed by national government in the UK.

There are about 197 full page listings in the booklet and, at a rough estimate, about 20 press officers per page (some room is needed to fit in their grand titles with words like 'head', ''chief', 'strategy' and 'senior' liberally sprinkled around). So that is about 3,940 press officers - and this is exclusively for national government. I wonder how many journalists are left in Fleet Street to ask them anything? It may be a staff-to-customers ratio that the Ritz would envy.

Our Ministry for Social Development has 17 media contacts listed. If a simple x 15 calculation (based on population) was applied that would produce 255. I can't make a direct comparison to the UK equivalent but their Health Department has 145 press officers so perhaps we are similarly blessed.

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