Pleasure VS Self Exploitation / Week 3, Media 6

Lobato & Thomas’ ‘Work’ chapter touches on many important concepts about working in media in today’s informal economic landscape. I have to also commend the RMIT course ‘Social Applications of Politics in The Workplace’ which drew important references to their work and has also helped me understand of how this will affect my colleagues and my own career. 

Again this links to our previous reading about digitalisation shaping a new industrial economy, only this week the focus has been the affects of media workers. I’ve been able to identify the ‘benefits’ but also the many warning signs and questions that need to be considered.


Flexibility (whether or not this is an illusion is TBD by the individual and job tasks)

Opportunities for creativity, as a freelancer you’re not bound by one workplace’s values and restrictions

Doing what you love means the work/life distinction isn’t so pronounced which can imply greater life satisfaction right?


As stated by Lobato & Thomas, renumeration schemes in these circumstances are designed as incentives for those who love what they do rather than a salary paid in return for a certain amount of time and effort: 

So how can we distinguish work from pleasure and pleasure from self exploitation? (Lobato & Thomas 2015).

Flexibility: digitalisation and connection can mean 24/7 availability, how ‘good’ does the work need to be / how much do you have to love your job to truly want that. 

Pay/Securtiy: A freelance and true contractor sets their own rates. If a company employs mainly freelancers and has an access to a huge pool of candidates, how do you set a competitive rate that you can live comfortably on, when it’s likely there’ll always be someone willing to work for less, or free i.e talented but desperate Media students needing their 80 hours work attachment?

The only negative criticism I have of this reading is the doom and gloom captured by our ‘innovative, forward-thinking, media economy’ is very real and defined… but Lobato & Thomas barely touch on any way to resolve the issues or what should be done to improve circumstances. It is important to understand your workplace but reading feels more like teh agenda is more to become prepared for a lifetime of disappointment disguised by fellow media workers who write job ads as ‘flexible’ ‘creative’ and/or ‘innovative’.

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