Archived entries for journalist

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.

And what will be the role of print?

Date: February 24th
Time:
19.30
Place:
37 Grados (Av. Roma / Comte Borrell)

When organizing the third BCNMediaLab event we started asking ourselves: how will be the newspapers and magazines of the future? What will be their role in a news ecosystem dominated by real time, ubiquity and overload of information? We are seeing how press companies join digital natives, but also digital companies that decide to venture into paper. Newspapers and magazines are still born in paper form, like the catalan newspaper ARA, or the local magazine Barcelonés, defying the voices that keep claiming that paper is dead.

It was the journalist Philip Meyer who dared to say exactly when the newspapers will die, in his book The Vanishing Newspaper: 2043.

In the United States at least 166 newspapers ceased operations since 2008, but there are still 1.600 published daily. In Spain, the 4 major newspapers have reduced their staff by 39% since 2003, and there has been more than 2.000 layoffs since the economic crisis started.

With all these data, we asked ourselves: What will be the role of paper? How will be the newspapers and magazines of the future? To whom will they be addressed? Will they remain influential? Will they even be daily? What will drive us to buy a paper publication when we have digital, interactive platforms at our fingertips? To get answers to those questions, we have invited:

  • Louis-Charles Tiar, editor of Barcelonés and Madriz: two young projects with a clear bet for paper and diferentiation.
  • Antoni Maria Piqué, journalist and PDD by IESE. He’s a consultant in Newsroom Organization and Integration and Editorial Development. He has managed or participated in projects in more than 100 newspapers, from 55 companies and 23 different countries in Europe and America. He worked in La Vanguardia and was the editor of the Diari de Tarragona. He’s also associate teacher in the Universidad Internacional de Cataluña. He writes about media and journalism in the blog Paper Papers.
  • And José Sanclemente, economist and managing director of Imagina Media, a media consulting company. Until 2002 he was member of the board in the Grupo Zeta. He was president of the AEDE (Spanish Newspaper Editor Association), and promoter and founder of the free newspaper ADN. He writes on his blog, Entre medios.

Entrepeneur profiles: Bottup/Nxtmedia

Everyone who has attended a journalism event in Spain or who has followed the development of new journalism forms in Spain will know about the role of Pau Llop and his partners. First in Bottup, the first citizen journalism website in spanish, launched in 2007. And then also in Nxtmedia, the project where they apply the experience and know how acquired through Bottup to other projects. Through both brands they make a persistent defense of the non for profit model for journalism.

Which was the biggest obstacle you have found with your projects?

Working and trying to maintain a non for profit project without investments or subsidies of any kind in almost 4 years of activity. Right now our main concern is to get the entities with means to invest in technology and knowledge to meet with us and listen to our proposal for the near future. Though we will still be non for profit, it’ll not be loss-making. We think it’s a very innovative proposal and has a medium term capacity for self-subsistence.

What would you recommend to a journalist thinking about to become also an entrepeneur?

I’d say do it. No hurries, no stress, don’t think your idea is unique and can be stealed. Start with the basics, have a tight control of expenses and think twice about where you spend your money to avoid jeopardize your project’s future. And most of all, be open to collaboration with your peers: your project will not flourish in isolation or with a “fierce competition” attitude. Internet doesn’t work that way. Oh! And when thinking about building a team, try to make it well-balanced including a business and a technology specialist. And finally, lots of patience, faith, peace of mind, and a disposition to enjoy the walk. And good luck 🙂

Key data:

  • Start up costs: 3.323€ (318€ Bottup.com + 3.005€ Nxtmedia)
  • Years of planning: 1 (Bottup.com)
  • Years to profit: Bottup is a non for profit project. It usually doesn’t carry advertising, and when it does, it’s for free. Nxtmedia was able to recover the initial 3.000€ investment after 8 meses.
  • Staff at launch: 3 journalists.
  • Staff today: 3 journalists, 1 developer y 1 designer.
  • Next steps: Modify our legal status to reflect better our non for profit approach in Nxtmedia. After that, draft a plan of technological development and economic sustainability. Open Bottup even more, transform it into a distributed and scalable tool (rather than a news site).

Entrepeneur profiles: RUIDO Photo

School of the Barcelona photojournalism collective RUIDO Photo

RUIDO Photo is a collective of photojournalists and documentary photographers founded in Barcelona in 2004. They have three main lines of activity:

  • Research and documentation, as photojournalism reports, some of them published in news outlets like Periodismo Humano.
  • Community enhancement actions, like this project of collaborative photograhy in the Congost neighbourhood.
  • Editing and publishing the digital documentary photography magazine 7.7.

Although they are a non for profit association, and don’t have an entrepeneur mindset, photographer and member of the collective Toni Arnau says that “the main and constant obstacle is the search for funds to guarantee the life of the project”. Toni recommends to other journalists to “not create big working teams, start small and build from there”, and leave the search for funds, both from private and public sector, to a professional.

Key data:

  • Start up costs: almost 0€ (hosting and domain). At the beginning they worked on the project as volunteers.
  • Planning time: 8 months.
  • Years to profit: The project is not for profit, but financing, mainly subsidies from public institutions, covers all expenses and wages.
  • Staff at the beginning: 12.
  • Staff today: 8.
  • Next steps: Keep promoting 7.7 locally and globally and redesign the website from scratch. There are also plans to start producing events related to journalism and documentary photography.

Entrepeneur profiles: Anversal

Anversal

Anversal is a newspaper and editorial design firm, founded in April 2009 by Olga Lamas, Víctor Gil and Teresa Domingo. The three of them are journalists, and worked together at the studio Cases i Associats for 10 years on all kinds of editorial projects before founding their own firm. One of their latest projects was the design of the newspaper Ara, but they have worked as well on the re-design of the portuguese newspaper Destake and other editorial and content planning projects for Time Out.

Víctor Gil used to work as an art director in the romanian newspaper Adevarul and the sunday edition of The Independent before founding his own firm. He says that the current economic situation “hasn’t been an obstacle for our company, beyond the usual: lower budgets and delayed payments”. Víctor insists to new entrepeneurs in the importance of communication and having a carefully nurtured contact network of potential clients.

Key data:

  • Start up costs: 10.000€
  • Staff at launch and today: 3.

Entrepeneur profiles: FronteraD

FronteraD was launched one year ago. This online media project diferentiates itself from the rest by refusing to compete in the daily race. Instead FronteraD publishes new content weekly, focusing on quality and topics away from the usual mainstream media coverage. Two of their features have been awarded recently.

The initial project was a paper magazine, but after 6 years of planning they decided to focus their efforts on the online version, which was ready in just a year. Besides advertising, revenue comes through donations from readers, a model very much like Periodismo Humano, a similar project.

Jose Luís Toledano, Managing Director of FronteraD, thinks that a journalist that is thinking of becoming an entrepeneur should “invest time and effort in an appropiate content management system, look for a good financial partner, have luck, don’t give up. And guarantee the economic survival of the project for at least 2 years before taking it to the market”.

Key data:

  • Start-up costs: 70.000€
  • Years of planning: 6 when the project was a paper magazine with online version. When it was reduced to just an online magazine, 1 year.
  • Years to profit: 3 (planned in 2012).
  • Staff at launch: 6 plus freelance collaborators.
  • Staff today: 4 plus freelance collaborators.
  • Next step: Keep improving fronterad.com and launch a paper magazine.


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