It's a shame that the quality and reputation of a paper is sacrificed for the cost of a decent editor.
Again, the cost of a decent editor would have to be supported by the pay of the public. And the public is not willing to pay for news.
I've posted this before, but I'll do so again, just to thrust some hours and dollars into the discussion. I recently wrote six somewhat lengthy (1200-1500 words) articles on the inductees to the WBHOF. Here's how I spent my time:
6 hours: Research
6 hours: Setting up and conducting the interviews
12 hours: Transcribing the interviews. Because I didn't have the time to indulge in transcribing, I paid folks to do it - about $65 an interview.
30 hours: Writing. I'm not an outrageously fast writer, but it does take time to read the transcripts, digest, research missing areas, draft and shape and self-edit a piece.
Total hours spent if I didn't indulge in an outside transcriber: 54
So, what do you think a fair fee should be?