Thursday, April 21, 2011

If Cee-Lo Green Were A Freelancer

For crap's sake. Here's an article in the Times about a vegan website based here in San Francisco that was using free stock food photos and airbrushing out the meat (#awesome!). At first, the editor was unrepentant: free, bastardized photos were "necessary for budgetary reasons." After a smorgasbord of internet fury, he revised his statement, saying they'd stop using meat pictures, but that he "hoped the magazine’s readership would 'stand up and help us' in providing vegan photography."

Fuck you. Pay photographers. (H/T to Mike Monteiro)

And look! Here's a job listing that lists among its many, many requirements:
  • A BA in English
  • An MBA or equivalent
  • 7 years copywriting experience
The online listing doesn't say this, but the posted rate for this job, according to the Media Alliance JobFile, is $10/hour. Minimum wage. You get paid more at Starbucks.

Fuck you! Pay marketing writers a living wage!

Progressive darling Arianna Huffington is defending her perfect right to get fat off of free content. Huffington and AOL are trying to upend the concept of the citizen journalist, which used to mean "getting information out of areas where journalists are under siege by any means necessary," and now means "undercutting professional journalists by expecting above-the-fold copy from unpaid or barely-paid interns." (News flash: they don't deliver.)

Just ... fuck you.

Over the past ten years I've become a more skilled reporter, a better interviewer, a more careful researcher, an all-around better writer. And my per-word and per-hour rates have dropped because the market could not bear what I was making. Which was the same per-word rate freelancers have been making since the seventies. What the heck is going on?!

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I have to go finish a piece for one of the few clients that pays me what I deserve for articles they can be proud to publish. I'm missing no deadlines, and making no fuss: this is a relationship that must work out, or I'll perish along with the cattle featured in the ribs on the front page of VegNews.

(yeah, I know, that was a stretch. Hey, I'm writing for free here!)