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NYT op-ed writer is so mad publications won't pay for his awesomeness

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    And this despite the fact that he spent a lot of money attending a prestigious institution! And that he writes for prestigious online publications!

    I know we've had the write-for-free debate around these parts many, many times. But whatever side you fall on, this is some of the whiniest drivel ever added to the conversation:


    Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. ... I now contribute to some of the most prestigious online publications in the English-speaking world, for which I am paid the same amount as, if not less than, I was paid by my local alternative weekly when I sold my first piece of writing for print in 1989. More recently, I had the essay equivalent of a hit single — endlessly linked to, forwarded and reposted. A friend of mine joked, wistfully, “If you had a dime for every time someone posted that ...” Calculating the theoretical sum of those dimes, it didn’t seem all that funny. ...

    I will freely admit that writing beats baling hay or going door-to-door for a living, but it’s still shockingly unenjoyable work. I spent 20 years and wrote thousands of pages learning the trivial craft of putting sentences together. My parents blew tens of thousands of 1980s dollars on tuition at a prestigious institution to train me for this job. They also put my sister the pulmonologist through medical school, and as far as I know nobody ever asks her to perform a quick lobectomy — doesn’t have to be anything fancy, maybe just in her spare time, whatever she can do would be great — because it’ll help get her name out there.

    What a d-bag. Here's an idea. If you don't want to write for these publications, then don't do it.

    Oh, and by the way, don't doctors frequently provide free care in programs like Doctors Without Borders?
  2. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    And on the same day they turned down a Banksy Op Ed.


    and he used another forum to complain about.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I love stuff like this. So awesome in its self-involvement.

    Later today I'm going to sit down and do some incredibly boring technical writing, the kind this guy would never lower himself to doing. It will take me about six hours. When I'm done, I'll have $450.

    This is not to go all BTE "you should look at my awesome mortgage!" I am only offering it as an example that there is plenty of reward out there once you remove "ego stroke" as part of the compensation package.
  4. X-Hack

    X-Hack Well-Known Member

    Yup. I just spent three hours reporting and writing up a pretty boring news article for a trade pub. Now I get a few hundred bucks for my trouble. Like clockwork. Every week. For much of the past decade and for the foreseeable future. Not a bad supplement to my full-time job. I'd love to be emptying my soul and showing off my dazzling observational wit. But I want to be able to afford to give my kids some opportunities and it beats the shit out of practicing law (been there, done that) or writing for pennies working for a small-market daily. Maybe this prestigious young man should lower himself and use his writing chops where it pays. Trade pubs, custom publishing -- may not be cool at cocktail parties. But if you're a quick study and can turn around pretty good copy quickly and match your style to theirs, you can certainly make money writing.
  5. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Mad? That article is tongue-in-cheek.
  6. Greenhorn

    Greenhorn Active Member

    Slaves? Seriously, pick an alternative word.
  7. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    He's spot-on. I'm stunned that on a board for journalists so many would ridicule someone who says their work is actually worth something.

    Shortly before I came here today I had read this blog.


    Again, it's spot-on. You don't walk into a restaurant and expect them to give you the food for free. No one expects workers in any other industry to work for free. Why are writers expected to? This "your work has no worth" bullshit has got to stop.
  8. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Why buy the milk if the cow is free?
  9. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    There are no restaurants anywhere that will feed you for free.

    There are a hundred writers for every story willing to do it for free.
  10. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Easy. Because if no one is willing to pay for it, then it's not worth anything, monetarily.

    Tony, I would think that you of all people wouldn't suffer the notion that this jamoche is entitled to sympathy because his parents paid money for his prestitious college degree. Boo fucking hoo.

    If he wrote that b.s. about any other degree or occupation, you would be all over him.
  11. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    I don't see it as ridiculing someone who says his work is actually worth something. I see the board as ridiculing someone because of: 1) his complete disregard for the world as it is; and 2) the lameness with which he justifies the inherent worth of his work.
  12. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    Some of them even know what a verb is.
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