Getting Paid For Our Work
It happened again, today. Somebody asked if I would write something for nothing. Well, from a cash-based, tangible point of view, anyway. But from the perspective of this well-heeled, quite successful radio news outlet, my occasional pieces for broadcast would be great for my “exposure”. Ah, yes, that.
If I were any more exposed I’d be naked, any more reciprocitious I’d be in a knot. The trend of web based journalism in Alaska (and probably everywhere else) is moving faster than our good-old-boy, television/radio/print media, and the two aren’t just ships passing in the night. They’re at opposite ends of the ocean.
I’m all for the occasional freebie; after all we have to start someplace. I don’t worry about doing some gratis work for a non-profit organization I support; that’s not it. I’m referring to bona fide feature-length articles or regular appearances on local web sites and other forums that would garner a reasonable sum to at least pay for my research and expenses. And my writing ability. Almost forgot that part.
Interesting was the reaction when I turned the conversation around to include a package of compensation. “But we’re offering you exposure to xxxx number of listeners!” they persisted, pushing statistics across the table at me. “How about free trips?”
With echos of encouragement I’ve heard over and over since joining The Power MOB, I said “I have a service. I am happy to negotiate, to be creative, and work with you. But I will not sell my skill short.”
I made them pay for my hungarian goulash soup and orange-ginger salad, too.
While picking up my son from school, I heard my smartphone’s ”blip” that told me I had a new email. Sliding down the screen, I saw a message from the Conundrum Cadre. “Could we meet next week to discuss some options for compensation?”
Oh yeah, we can.