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Should journalists work for free?

Should journalists work without pay?

It's an issue that's been touched on many times before, but that's still relevant today when many interns and aspiring journalists are willing to offer free labor (or feel like they must) just to get a foot in the door.

The BBC College of Production recently organized a Twitter chat around the topic, with BBC Academy's Simon Wright taking questions about the pros and cons of working to get a leg up in an increasingly competitive industry.

"Having a place where you can build experience and be supported is really important. Otherwise it will be a waste of your good will and enthusiasm, and your employer’s time," Wright tweeted. "Above all it’s a learning activity – you shouldn't be there to fill a ‘real’ job role on the cheap."

Wright's cautionary advice rings true when many interns and volunteers have to choose for themselves where to draw the line between gaining a valuable experience and allowing news outlets to take advantage of them.

What do you think? When is it worth working for free?

Image CC-licensed on Flickr via -Mandie-.

Question itself has meaning

I think there are people who are critically demotivated by lack of compensation for their labor. What isn't being said is that the work environment at press is often filled with grumpy, cranks who verbally assault their peers and subordinates with anything from threats of physical or sexual assault to supression and cut offs from other career or story opportunities. When you are not paid and you get the impression no one cares what happens to you or they desperately hope you fail, you re-evaluate the environment. Is journalism worth it if you are in a group of people who feel entitled to behave this way? My thoughts are that the job itself is pretty tough, but dealing with the exploitation of the work environment is sometimes not worth they paycheck. Don't you dare ask anyone to get intrepid & endure the abuse for free.

Payment of media

journalism is a calling...even the pay we receive is peanuts considering the kind of work that we do!

Pay the Writer

You should check Nate Thayer's website--Nate-Thayer.com.

He ignited and fanned a very similar discussion along these lines last year in the U.S.

Fulltime or freelance....?

According to Olisa, a young journalist opportunity and prospects are all they ask for even if the demands may bring little rewards. I started working for a newspaper free of charge. My interest was to see my write-up published every week. That to me was much more than any cash in that particular period. But difficulty started when I used my own cash to make trips to find stories. The option to be paid or not depends if the job is full-time, part time or freelance. Whichever divide you find yourself, payment for a service well done is reward.

Why free?

The debate about whether journalists should work for free will always be controversial since the different media establishments operate as a business will the sole aim of attracting advertising revenue. Personally i don't think this is a good idea.

Its not easy

I worked for free for one year and now I am hardly paid on time: I earn far less than minimum wage, I think once you start working for free. your employers find it easy to exploit you. Right now I am looking for another job although I still work there.

its better work for free if possible.

i am a journalist by professional but am employed in community development carrier... in our region it is very hard to be employed into two organizations and pay you. for this means i am planning to start to write my articles and send into different newspapers, first because i don't want to loose my carrier, second i have many things to report as news rather than what i do in reporting templates.. but also who is a journalist? some one who report as a favor? some one who write someones interests? some one who report as a employment? or some one living into news?

This an interesting Topic and

This an interesting Topic and really relevant to contribute to. Am a photojournalist based in Northern Ghana. The passion one has for they job makes him or her to work for free, but that should not always be the case. if someone want to engage you, then it have to be for a fee.

journalist work for free

hello my name is babar khan and i am from pakistan. i think journalist should work for free,if he or she have some other income resources. he/she work for free to expend humanity in society.

Pragmatically, most young

Pragmatically, most young journalists are effectively working for free now.

i am still work free

i am still work as free lance writer and photo journalist , you can help the people being working journalist through your work , but i am fade up now , journalism is my passion but my responsibilities didn't allow me for more work , may be i left .

I have worked for free two

I have worked for free two years,but now I can not work for free. It is good to work for free when you can help someone with your work,but also for a journalist it is not good to work for free.

Should journalists work for free?

Its not so far off to your services to media organizations especially in the area of entry level in today's journalism world. Surely a good line must be drawn to avoid "exploitation" and this should apply interns. For many young aspiring journalists, its never really about money or rewards, Passion and drive is always at play which makes them open to learning.

The newsroom is never shot for tasks big or small and an extra hand who can deliver with minimal time and supervision should be encouraged. For a young journalist opportunity and prospects are all they ask for even if the demands may bring little rewards.

Olisa Chukwumah

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