Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Pay The F@cking Writer: Part Infinity

Here's a fun fact:  This guy?  He gets paid.   A lot.

So does this guy.

And these people.

And these people.
Fox Family

And this guy.

And this lady.

And these guys.

And this guy.

And this guy.

And him.

And her.

And so on.

And so forth.

And so on.

They and thousands of other B-Ark dregs like them who work with pen or microphone or camera command princely sums because very wealthy individuals or corporations believe the services they provide are valuable enough to be worth every pfennig and perk they pay out.

You know who isn't getting paid?

Nate Thayer, Professional Journalist (from "A Day in the Life of a Freelance Journalist—2013"-- h/t Aramis):

From the Atlantic:
Thanks for responding. Maybe by the end of the week? 1,200 words? We unfortunately can’t pay you for it, but we do reach 13 million readers a month. I understand if that’s not a workable arrangement for you, I just wanted to see if you were interested.
Thanks so much again for your time. A great piece!
From me:
Thanks Olga:
I am a professional journalist who has made my living by writing for 25 years and am not in the habit of giving my services for free to for profit media outlets so they can make money by using my work and efforts by removing my ability to pay my bills and feed my children. I know several people who write for the Atlantic who of course get paid. I appreciate your interest, but, while I respect the Atlantic, and have several friends who write for it, I have bills to pay and cannot expect to do so by giving my work away for free to a for profit company so they can make money off of my efforts. 1200 words by the end of the week would be fine, and I can assure you it would be well received, but not for free. Frankly, I will refrain from being insulted and am perplexed how one can expect to try to retain quality professional services without compensating for them. Let me know if you have perhaps mispoken.
Read the rest here.


zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I heard a story once, most likely apocryphal, about an architect who met with a corporate client who wanted him to do a project for free, as an introductory job, "and we'd get caught up on the next one". To which the architect got up, did a quick little soft shoe, sat back down and said "that's what I can give you for free. For everything else, I need to get paid."

Odd how "the next one" never seems to arrive.

After some of that kind of treatment, I have discovered that Hooker Rules apply: Free is only for your lover; everybody else has to pay.

OBS said...

The vaunted Atlantic paid McMegan for how fucking long and they can't pay somebody that actually knows how to write? For shame.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Note the Terms Of Sevitude, OBS:

Serve the plutocracy, and potentially HUGE bucks are yours, even if you're a complete hack.

Otherwise,forget about it...See Froomkin, Dan, etc.

Steve S said...

Incidentally, it is this kind of logic that justifies the existence of a minimum wage. Clearly the Atlantic can and does pay for people to write. Yet they realize that there's enough writers out there who are trying to gain traction, that they can offer to pay nothing. While this writer clearly didn't take it, it's reasonable to conclude that others do because otherwise they'd never make the offer.

Back to minimum wage jobs, do you think McDonalds, etc, would make workers a similar deal if they were allowed to by law? Oh if you sign on as a cook and work for us for the next 3 months, if all goes well, maybe we can find you a full time position. Given the number of people who need a job right now, they'd probably have no problem staffing their restaurants with that approach.

Of course no such law applies in a free lance situation.

Tengrain said...

I'm saddened by the Atlantic bit. I thought better of them.