But the experience is worth so much.

Jim Romenesko’s letters page is as good as his index page. Everybody knows this. Here’s one reason: A reader letter that turned out to be a joke, but managed to make every point the writer was trying to make in the reaction it got.

The capsule: The writer, Brian Gilmer, forwarded a typical job posting from his college j-school newsletter, a position that paid all of $12 an hour, for people holding one of the most expensive and (supposedly) prestigious diplomas in the field. He complained that the money was insulting. Because this business has no shortage of masochists, the responses scolded him for expecting to be paid anything more for such a good learning experience.

He wrote back, revealing the prank, and asking, The main problem is that well educated journalists who want to be thought of as professionals continually demean themselves by accepting these positions at these rates of pay. Shouldn’t we all insist that a professional writer is worth more?�

Posted at 7:17 am in Uncategorized |

4 responses to “But the experience is worth so much.”

  1. alex said on November 6, 2003 at 10:24 am

    Well, I’ve met more than a few j-school grads who just don’t have the magic. Diploma mills like Medill take money from just about anyone who has it and flood the world with incompetent writers. For the most part, newspapers are getting exactly what they pay for.

    I considered going to Medill grad school once upon a time. A friend who was an adjunct prof there told me not to waste my money�I’d end up in hock in Podunk on a salary that wouldn’t begin to pay for my education or anything else.

    Not that I’m having much luck finding work of any sort at the moment after twenty years in the trenches with a B.A. in English.

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  2. ashley said on November 6, 2003 at 2:33 pm

    Writers of any kind aren’t worth squat.

    At least, that’s what the market bears out. Why else would networks be dying to put on more “reality” television? Because you don’t have to pay either the actors or those pesky writers.

    Also, good writing is hard. Mediocre writing is ubiquitous.

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  3. Jennifer said on November 6, 2003 at 3:36 pm

    I don’t see why anyone would want to pay more money when they absolutely don’t have to. And in this day and age, people are desperate.

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  4. Paul said on November 8, 2003 at 7:51 pm

    Ah, the ol’ medieval just price. I thought Smith had finally won that battle…I agree with ashley.

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