Overall, Ramon Lobato and Julia Thomas’ article on Work in their book ‘The Informal Media Economy’ was completely terrifying for me and made me remember all of the anxieties I have surrounding work in the Media industry. Although they mainly talk about journalists (whose work took a hit very early on due to the internet), the article can apply to almost all creative industries. Lobato and Thomas concentrate on ‘informal’ and flexible work, like freelancing, which is a definite possibility for me, as an aspiring filmmaker, in the future. They have found that: ‘for many people involved in the actual labour of media production and distribution, much of which is repetitive and lowly paid, informal media work has a real downside: it can mean insecurity, overwork and low pay’. Even in my very limited experience working in the media industry I have found this to be true. I am constantly letting people exploit me (for instance, interning for over 6 months without being paid) and working overtime, all because I am getting experience doing something I love.
This article also looks at outsourcing creative work, which has become a common occurrence due to the internet. Media companies (whether it be video production houses or newspapers) can pay people next to nothing for content creation, as there is no minimum pay standards or unions for these creatives, and they are competing on a global forum. These companies are thus free to cash in on young and unexperienced people’s need for building a ‘wholesome’ resume. As a result of this outsourcing, journalism in particular, has become ‘deprofessionalised’, making it harder and harder for audiences to trust what they are reading, seeing or hearing. Lobato and Thomas quote Bakker (2012), in saying that ‘for professional journalists, this whole industry is an affront that devalues research and writing and floods the internet with rubbish’.
Wow, I cannot wait to be a media professional.