Charity begins at home at the Telegraph Group, where some editorial staff are being paid for their involvement in the newspapers’ teams taking part in high-profile charity fun runs.
According to a report in yesterday’s Guardian, “Team Telegraph” members participating in the charity fun runs who write about their experiences training for and running in the 13.1-mile half-marathon from Newcastle, and in the 10-mile Great South Run in Portsmouth, are being paid as part of a commercial deal with the races’ sponsors.
“Those members of the team who are journalists and who’ll be writing about their experiences during build-up, training and the actual race, will be remunerated for their time and professional services as part of the commercial deal with Bupa,” a Telegraph spokeswoman told the Guardian.
“The other Telegraph team members who are running it but not writing about it will not receive a payment, whether they are from the commercial or editorial side of the business.”
Team Telegraph members mentioned in the newspaper’s coverage include former Olympic oarsman James Cracknell, plus Emma Firth, Arts Editor Tom Horan and “adventure journalist” Tarquin Cooper.
Journalists covering charity events such as the London Marathon are routinely paid through their salary or lineage for their work. In this case, the involvement of the Telegraph‘s special projects editor Firth suggests a commercial deal has been done with Bupa which pays for “advertorials”, and the fees for those providing columns.
In the material published so far, little has been made of potential charity fund-raising by the Telegraph team.
The Great North Run generates massive amounts of publicity about the money the event raises for charity. This, though, is usually through the individual efforts of the 30,000-odd entrants, while the event organisation itself has a chequered record in its own direct charitable donations.
The Great North Run charitable trust was established to benefit local north-east sporting causes. But before it was wound up, it was shown to have made no donations to charity for more than a decade. Among the “charitable causes” to benefit from the GNR Trust was triple jumper Jonathan Edwards.