Home > Journalism > Passion vs. Payment: Is Media’s Perceived Value Based on Passion?

Passion vs. Payment: Is Media’s Perceived Value Based on Passion?

January 11, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

If you expect people to do something at little to no cost because they are passionate about it, can you really expect to treat them as though they are well compensated employees set out to do a task? By tapping into passion, you are enabling a person to have a creative outlet, but you also run the risk of them standing by their creativity. So if media really wants to increase the perceived value of journalism should they be asking people to pour their heart and soul into something because they are passionate about it? Or because they are financially rewarded for their work and time? I can’t really imagine the first solution will last too much longer.

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Categories: Journalism
  1. January 14, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    I think it depends on who’s asking and why. If someone’s running a big travel website and wants passionate contributors with professional credentials to travel to faraway places and write about them so that the site owner can profit from their labors, that’s arrogant and unprofessional.

    If the contributors are “citizen journalists” without established credentials, fine, but that comes with obvious questions of reliability.

    If the site owner or magazine publisher says, “We can’t pay right now, but stick with us; we expect to be profitable soon,” then it’s up to the writer/photographer to decide his/her level of charity.

    But there’s another scenario in Web 2.0, and that’s cooperation among friends and even competitors. We see a lot guest blog posts and gratis contributions, for example, and these can be healthy. One party gains exposure, the other party gains content. Everyone benefits. We’re still feeling our way along in this scenario, but I think that overall it’s heartening and bodes well for the future.

    Ultimately, though, pros have to look out for themselves. Sense when you’re being taken advantage of, and don’t cooperate with sleazeballs who want you to work for free.

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