The Informal Media Economy
Ramon Lobato & Julian Thomas
This week’s reading was particularly captivating, compared to other readings in the past, because the first page really directly addressed me, and I could write for hours about this issue. As a creative writer, and currently working as both a contractor and freelancer in content/writing positions, I understand some people’s hesitations and concerns, particularly when this is your only source of income.
The question was posed in the reading, ” Do content farms and freelancer sites exploit writers and erode the working standards of the writing profession?…Or do they provide a previously non-existent opportunity for amateurs to get paid – albeit modestly- doing what they love?
The article also asks what the ethics are concerning this new practise.
Unlike Law and Medicine, which are renowned for how “labor intensive” they are, media is often undermined, instead people have the opinion that a media professional should be worried and/or scared, as there are limited jobs which are already getting fewer and fewer…
Even if this is the case, and you do break in into this big scary world, people don’t often recognise the sheer amount of effort and labour you have gone through to become a journalist for a newspaper, or a production assistant, or reporter etc…
Before getting too into the debate and getting too heated, I will just name a few take away points that I thought were interesting:
- Freelancers have the ability to choose their own hours, providing the work gets done. Personally, I produce some of my best work under pressure, so if I am nearing a deadline, my creativity juices flow – this may not work for people with corporate jobs. This being said, you need to find the drive to actually start working, find a place where you can sit down for hours and not get distracted, and work out a schedule that works for you.
- The ethical issue (of course, money). In the reading, sites requesting for creative writers offering below acceptable wages are bad yes, but at the end of the day, it is up to the person whether he/she takes it or not. There should also be, and I’m assuming there will be in the near future, a regulatory system in place, to ensure no person is unfairly treated.
- I have been personally questioned about the “legality” of my freelance work, people expressing their fear of how legitimate my work is in regards to taxes, super, sick leave, but as a uni student, to have the ability to earn as much as I do, doing what I love AND get paid for it, whilst still going to uni and having a casual hospitality job on the side is pretty cool. I think the older, less educated generation about the progression of media styles and forms have more concern because they are not aware of the changing world around them.
Rant over. Good Reading. More of these please