Archived entries for

We do not work for free


The journalists we are getting use to aceppt precarious jobs. Many hours and hard work for little pay and conditions that do not value our knowledge either our experience.

The lattest has been one company that paid € 0.75 per text of 800 characters (not even spaces, as usual asked). A price that is not only insufficient but is clearly an insult.

800 characters are not double what you’ve been reading.

But the job also demand for knowledge of search engine optimization, internet writing, writing and structure. More over the author may be penalized if the text did not like or was not creative enough. He was not going to get paid if he did not write – and be approved “lucky” 10 editors who passed the selection – about 400 texts. 300 euros for it, likely to be rejected.

A colleague from Seville, Azahara Cano, “was selected” and she said no. She first reported on Linkedin and then on Twitter. The Press Association of Madrid (APM) supported her using the hashtag #gratisnotrabajo. And like them, many, many colleagues who have turned the slogan into a cry of dignity.

We, as BCN Media Lab, also endorse and support.

We support her and many journalists who suffer unacceptable, humiliating work conditions.

So many freelancing and false selfemployed workers, the weakest parts in the chain, who they get much less than what they were paid a while ago with the excuse of the crisis. And no chance to reply or complain. Or those who are required to work for free to keep his job or be indefinitely delayed payment.

All are situated on the verge of labor and social degradation.

It’s enough.

Journalists are necessary in a democratic society because a free and independent journalism is a guarantee of transparency.
And we deserve More respect.

Stop job offers that do not recognize our work and our craft.
Stop to take advantage of the need of people.
Denounce.

We also # gratisnotrabajo.

BCNMediaLab Podcast

In order that you may have access to discussions and meetings more easily, we have made audio files of BCNMediaLab recent events. We have created an account on the website Ivoox so you can download the audio and listen on your MP3 player like a radio program. If you’ve missed some discussion, it is a good way to recover in addition to the videos. So enjoy!

El periodista y las redes sociales [Cat]

Periodistas Emprendedores [Cat]

El papel del papel [Cas]

02/24 What role print media will have in the future?

After the long Christmas break we return to the meetings of BCNMediaLab. After having talked about social networking and entrepeurship jornalism, we look at the future of the print. We wonder: how will look like newspapers and magazines in the future? What will your their role in the new information ecosystem dominated by over-information, real time and ubiquity?

Will be February 24, at  37 grados.

We invited people from the magazine Barcelonés and Madriz, the consultant and journalist Toni Piqué and José Sanclemente, who will help us to try to imagine the future of media and its new role in the digital context.

Register now here.

“Journalists, as musicians, will have to do gigs”

There´s a high chance that more than one of the 5.000 or so journalists unemployed in Spain has thought the same question: can I set up my own media business?

Some of them might already have some projects in mind, ideas for news media start-ups, micro-media or one-person-media ventures… you name it.

But that´s not the point. As always, one question leads to another: who´s paying the bill? Are there any investors ready to fund new media projects in paper, online, or on whatever format they are? History tells this is a hard one.

To understand what a real investor, a professional one, thinks about this, I asked Luis Martín Cabiedes. No need for introduction, I think, but just in case: Cabiedes belongs to the family owner of Europa Press, firm in which he´s an advisor, and he´s also one of the most well-regarded business angel in the Spanish Internet sector. If this doesn´t tell you much, names such us Ole, Privalia, Rockola, Bubok or Trovit will tell the rest. He´s investor in all of these start-ups.

Question: Would you invest in a news media project?
Answer: The honest answer is no. And the reason is simple: content has not yet found a business model in the Internet. More than 15 years of history show that content has always been a bad business in the Internet and for an investor to put money on the table, you have to convince him first that there´s a business model behind.
Having said that, I do believe there is a place for journalist-entrepreneurs. There´s a place for specialized online publications that can end up being a good one-man company or 3-4 employee viable firm. Those are what we call viable projects, but not investable, so not scalable and without any possibility of being sold.

Q. Why not?
A. A professional investor always looks for start-ups that could end up with 10 to 12 million euros revenue in three or four years. A project about online content just doesn´t have that profile. Moreover, an investor is never going to buy something that doesn´t know who to sell it to later. Nowadays, the ones that could potentially buy those projects, the traditional media companies, just can´t do it because they are having a really hard time.

Q. No one is willing to pay for news online. The way out doesn´t seem to go that way, does it?
A. When we buy a newspaper, we don´t pay for the news, we pay for the paper. We have never paid for the news but for the platform, not for the content. The same happens in the music industry, we used to pay for a CD, not for the music. The Internet is not a platform, is the disappearance of the platform, and if the platform disappears you can´t continue charging for the same you were selling before. The problem is that online ads have a limit, they can´t support everything.

Q. So what would it work in the Internet: a combination of high quality content, analysis, together with the new platforms like tablets or smartphones?
A. I don´t think the solution is in the new platforms. There´s little paid content in the iPhone or the iPad, where the free of charge model of the Internet has won too. As consumers we are happy with that, it´s a feast; as companies, is a challenge. The ones who are losing out money are the media firms.

Q. What advice would you give to a journalist-entrepreneur wannabe?
A. The bad news is for the news media businesses, not for journalists. It´s the same as in the music industry, the problem is for the labels, not for the musicians. Journalists, the same as musicians, will have to do gigs. And I don´t mean it in a negative way, there are good opportunities there. There won´t be news media firms where to work, or it´ll be really hard. That´s why the best they can do is to find their niche, look for readers, become strong there, write content that people want to read, which is what this was always about, and keep the project to 4 or 5 employees. The same as a music band.

Q. And what about large traditional media, will they be able to profit from their online presence in the future?
A. No media organization, be it a TV or a newspaper, will ever make as much money as they were making before. It´s over. And the online content will never generate more than 10% of the advertising business of the old model. It won´t be enough. It´s naïve to think that the Internet and the iPad will keep them afloat. They´ll have to look for new business models.

Photo: SeedRocket

December 21st: Journalists & entrepeneurs

Journalists Entrepeneurs Finally, it’s time for the second BCNMediaLab meeting. It will be on Tuesday, December 21st, at 19.30h in the bar 37 Grados in Barcelona.

Journalists & entrepeneurs: In the next BCNMediaLab we want to discuss an option that is increasingly popular among journalists: to become entrepeneurs. Journalists are building online micro news sites, social networks, independent audiovisual production companies, PR and communication agencies… Fortunately, there is a growing number of examples. What kind of knowledge and resources are necessary? Which ideas are more likely to succeed? and to fail? Is it a viable option for anybody, or only for a few?

We have invited four journalists-entrepeneurs to answer this and other questions, and to tell us their own experiences.

After the debate, do not leave so fast and join us for a Christmas beer in 37 Grados. Please, sign up here. See you on Tuesday 21st at 19.30.

Meanwhile, keep an eye on this blog as we will collect some ideas about this topic.

Today: Journalists and social networking

Today we’ll host the first BCNMediaLab event, Journalists and social networking.

In case you’re outside Barcelona, or you can’t attend the event, you can follow it from our streaming service, as well as from Twitter, with the hashtag #bcnmedialab and from our own account.

See you this evening!

Journalism has to reinvent itself

The BCNMediaLab is born with these ideas in mind. They are just starting point we wanted to share.

  • Journalism is not dead, and it will never die.
  • It’s not about creating new journalism, but rethinking the basis of journalism itself. It’s about rebuilding.
  • Self criticism is necessary to recover credibility.
  • Journalism needs to regain its social function, its civic duty.
  • Technological change has disrupted the chain of production and its added value. Business models change, but the profession itself changes too.
  • Technology is a means to an end. It can be a great tool for better journalism, but, in order to explore it, research, creativity and will are needed.
  • Journalism doesn’t exclusively belong anymore to its institutions and companies.
  • We are concerned about how traditional journalism companies struggle to find profitable business models. We want to help explore new paths.
  • For quality journalism to exist, journalists need appropriate legal and labour conditions.
  • We don’t know how journalism will be in the future, because we’re the ones that will reinvent it.

BCNMedialab has born

The BCNMedialab, a group of journalists that gathers regularly to debate around the media and communications sector, has just born. We think it´s time to open up the debate, add new ideas and seek solutions to the challenges journalism is facing.

We realized about the need to create a meeting point for journalists and those involved in communication, without companies or institutions behind. We want to reflect on the problems, challenges and development paths of our profession and we invite all of you who share similar interests and concerns.

Our starting point is a set of ideas about journalism that we have put together for discussion and can be summarized in one: Journalism should reinvent itself.

First meeting

We are glad to invite you to the first event on Thursday 21st October at 19.30in the Barcelona Bar 37 grados. We thought it was good to start the meetings of BCNMediaLab talking about an issue that is happening right now in many newsrooms: How should journalists work in online social networks? Do they act on their own behalf or on behalf of their employer? We have invited three people who we think can help steer a debate that we want to turn into an open conversation for all attendees.

After the debate we can have a beer together at 37 Grados and get to know each other. See you on Thursday 21st at 19.30. Please, sign in here.



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