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responsibilities of publications to freelancers


“As media outlets turn increasingly to freelancers in order to cut costs, the risks for hired journalists become more evident. Australian Paul Raffaele is a case in point. Raffaele worked as a freelancer for Smithsonian magazine for more than three years, until April 2008, when he was injured on assignment in Afghanistan. While sitting in a vehicle parked inside a police base in a small Afghan town, Raffaele was grievously wounded by a suicide bomb attack that shot pieces of metal into his elbow, chest and brain, where they remain today. Twenty-two policemen were killed in the attack, carried out by a 12-year-old boy. An additional 32 were wounded. Now, disabled and unable to work as before, he wonders why Smithsonian magazine refuses to assist him. For the many freelancers out in the field, Raffaele’s plight offers a sobering, cautionary tale.”

by teru kuwayama at 2010-01-26 16:46:37 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

No one, no organization is taking any responsibility, the example they give is of a carefree world where no one cares about anyone. No surprise the world goes the way it goes.

by Daniel V. Kevorkian | 16 Feb 2010 00:02 | Firenze, Italy | | Report spam→
It would behoove everyone (managers, editors, etc.) to treat freelancers quite well, and in some ways better than staffers. With the way things are going, nearly every creative professional out there is going to be freelancing soon.

There was a guy years ago that I did work for. He treated all the freelancers (photo, video, design, direction, etc.) like garbage. Paid late, tried to play switcharoo with rights and terms after-the-fact and would happily shop around trying to play one of us off the other over price.

He got laid off in the great culling of late 2007. Saw him at a holiday party and all he could do was bitch about the way freelancers get treated.

I bought him a beer and reminded him of how he treated us.

While Raffaele’s case is much more severe, we need to carry the insurance to cover this kind of thing (or make sure we’re covered by the company we’re contracting for), and editors need to not bitch about the extra couple hundred bucks we’d charge back to them for carrying our own death and dismemberment policies.

Do unto others and whatnot…

by Will Seberger | 16 Feb 2010 03:02 | Tucson, Arizona, United States | | Report spam→
Raffaele’s case is definitely extremely severe, I did not want to put it on a scale of comparison, what I am suggesting is that every little step towards injustice is going to strike back in some ways.

If we allow morality to sunk, there will be a day when we will not be able to look at ourselves and recognize who we are. The case of the editor that was treating freelancers like crap is emblematic, but for one that stands up and says no, there are swarms of wannabe slaves that say yes, and then the irreparable happens and someone gets hurt.

We all are silent hoping that one day we will be safe and will not have to expose ourselves to any more risks, because we made it through the mine field, others succumbed, but we made it.

We suffer from the same disease we contributed to spread.

by Daniel V. Kevorkian | 16 Feb 2010 14:02 | Firenze, Italy | | Report spam→

fareed zakaria:

the media business is changing rapidly. Unable to afford foreign bureaus, more newspapers and magazines are relying on freelancers abroad. These stringers look just as suspicious to dictators and militant groups—and they are distinctly more vulnerable. In late year, Iran was still holding three U.S. hikers, one of whom had worked as a freelance journalist in the Middle East. In November, two freelancers, a Canadian and an Australian, were released by a Somali rebel group after 15 months in captivity; with no media organization behind them, their case had received scant attention. Nine freelancers were killed in reprisal for their work in 2009, while 60 others were in prisons worldwide in late year. As publications and TV networks continue to shed staff and look for ways to cover conflicts more affordably, the number of such cases is only going to grow.

In this new environment, local journalists are going to assume added importance—and they will take on greater risk. In increasingly violent Pakistan, local reporters face threats from the Taliban and other militants, along with government harassment and military indifference to their safety. (A year ago, Newsweek’s Sami Yousafzai was shot at point-blank range by a Taliban assassin and then detained by Pakistani police as soon as he left the hospital.) The Somali press corps has suffered devastating losses. Nine local journalists were killed in 2009 and dozens have fled the country. Western correspondents—few of whom venture into Somalia now—no longer have sources to rely upon for basic information. Says Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek: “They were the first responders, if you will, to breaking news in Somalia. And most of them are gone.” Other than the U.S. hiker, the reporters inside Evin Prison are Iranians who worked for local media outlets; many others have been cowed into silence or have left the country.

Quite a few of those Iranian prisoners are bloggers or reporters and editors for opposition Web sites. And with good reason: In many repressive societies, where newspapers and radio and TV stations are routinely shuttered, online journalists have often been the most nimble at circumventing press restrictions. In Cuba, for example, where at least 25 journalistic blogs cover social issues and political news, bloggers cobble together personal computers from black-market parts and use their precious spare money to buy time at Internet cafés. But like other freelancers, they also work without the sort of institutional protections—including lawyers, money, and professional affiliations—that can help shield them from harassment or detention. These types of journalists are especially vulnerable in China, Burma, Vietnam, and Iran. Indeed, half the news people in jail worldwide are online journalists.

by teru kuwayama | 17 Feb 2010 07:02 | Palo Alto, California, United States | | Report spam→

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teru kuwayama, I/O teru kuwayama
New York , United States
Daniel V. Kevorkian, Photographer Daniel V. Kevorkian
(telling stories)
Firenze , Italy
Will Seberger, Photojournalist Will Seberger
(Freelance Visual Journalist)
Tucson, Arizona , United States ( TUS )


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