Sunday, 20 May 2012

Something for nothing culture



Someone I know told me about a recent encounter with the "something for nothing" culture. They were contacted by an Italian magazine who wanted to write an article on the seamier side of London in the run up to the Olympic Games. They required a piece of gritty journalism. My acquaintance first ascertained whether he was going to be paid for this which the answer was in the positive. The trip went ahead and he was given a tour of a particularly notorious South London council estate. He was introduced to people in the local pub, the local community centre and other places which would have added colour to the piece.

After awhile it was clear that the money of payment needed to be broached as the tour had taken a few hours. The Italian journalist who had been asking many questions suddenly went quiet and aid that he needed to ask his editor before payment could be agreed. My contact felt that he had been duped and began to argue with the Italian. He was getting nowhere so he decided to take things into his own hands by frog marching the aid journalist to a cash point and after a while persuasion the Italian duly coughed up the agreed payment.

The reason that I raise this matter is that I have all too often found myself in the position where I have written something to discover the article has been published and no payment forthcoming. This happened once with the Staffordshire Magazine who did me out after they published an article I had written on the North Staffordshire Regiment. They did a crap job as well of producing the article with appropriate pictures.

It seems to me that the "something for nothing" culture is now endemic in society and it is not only sited in one part of the community