[Payment-discuss] feedback for my article about payment for indybook
bmedia at riseup.net
bmedia at riseup.net
Mon Feb 12 16:46:09 PST 2007
Quoting "sheri at speakeasy.org" <sheri at speakeasy.net>:
> abuse of power is what i hear as the concern for paying people, but
> we never really get to that topic.
I'm not sure I agree. Abuse of power is definitely one concern, but I
think this is a much larger pot of stew that can't be boiled neatly
down to this one issue. Yes, paying people does bring up the specter
of hierarchies and power imbalances, which lead almost inexorably to
abuses of that power. But payment for indy work also brings in a lot
of other quirks of capitalism that I do not think most of us want to
see creeping in to indymedia.
For one thing, people who do something for money tend to compromise
their work if it gets them more money. (This is, obviously, one of the
many things wrong with the corporate media.) We like to think it won't
happen to us, but what makes us think we will be any stronger than any
of the other well-meaning people who have floundered down the NGO
path? I could list examples for days about compromises that have been
made by so-called "journalists" because someone else held the purse
strings. But do I need to? I mean, I think we all pretty much know this.
For another thing, bringing in money for some people leads almost
automatically to competition for those resources. People who are not
getting paid start wondering why they aren't getting paid when others
are, and everyone starts wondering "what's in it for me." That's no
small thing. Once we all start angling for our piece of the pie, as
they say, we forget what we're even doing here.
Integrity is another piece of this issue. Someone mentioned what
Marcos said when Brad Will was murdered in Oaxaca. This is important.
It's a very big distinction to point out that people are doing this
work for its own sake, for the sake of the world, and for the sake of
their own beliefs about what is right, rather than doing it for money.
Some of us really are doing this because we believe in it. And if
we're going to be out there bleeding on the streets for this work, we
do not want someone else coming along "branding" indymedia and then
profiting from it. That's just not right. I think some people (notably
from UC) might dismiss this as being too idealistic, but the fact
remains. These things make a difference in the world.
These are only a few of the many issues we are dealing with when we
decide the question of payment for this work. I could go on and on,
but I doubt anyone would read that far.
The main point here is, working from the heart carries with it a
spirit and passion that cannot be replicated with work for pay. That
spirit and passion are only eroded by trying to attach a paycheck to
PS on a side note to Sascha, I stand by what I said. you can read it
again if you like, and "Once we agree on these facts, then maybe we
can engage in a more constructive discussion about where Indymedia
should go from here."
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