From PHOTOSHELTER: There’s an interesting conversation going on over at The Atlantic about working for free. The talk is among journalists, but it’s not much of a stretch to bring it into the photography (or really any creative) space.
It started last week with journalist Nat Thayer, who was asked by The Atlantic website to repurpose a blog post for free. The original article, “25 Years of Slam Dunk Diplomacy: Rodman trip comes after 25 years of basketball diplomacy between U.S. and North Korea” was posted on NKNews.org. After it was published, an editor from The Atlantic emailed Thayer to ask if he would be interested in adapting a version for their website – for free.
Thayer took to his blog and posted his correspondence with the editor.
“We unfortunately can’t pay you for it, but we do reach 13 million readers a month,” said the editor in her email to Thayer. “I understand if that’s not a workable arrangement for you, I just wanted to see if you were interested.”
To that Thayer responded: “I am a professional journalist who has made my living by writing for 25 years and am not in the habit of giving my services for free to for profit media outlets so they can make money by using my work and efforts by removing my ability to pay my bills and feed my children…Frankly, I will refrain from being insulted and am perplexed how one can expect to try to retain quality professional services without compensating for them.”