The Very Low State of Freelance Journalism & Writing Today

You may recall my recent rant and honest reflection on the media, Krakow Post in that case — which I am not even sure if it is Polish based or backed/ran by the West since it is in English — about how these editors edit your content without asking, add info that you never witnessed or included, and won’t even compensate you for your work all while expecting you to smile and take it up the behind. I wouldn’t even expect undergrad journalism students to be treated this way, or the way us freelancers are treated, for trying to get our content out there and make a living.

Well, just recently, I’ve had a similar situation happen, but this time they paid me $20 for the article, whooopie!! what a joke these people take advsntage of us who are either entering the field again or have barriers of entry from the old men and women editors who sit in their positions behind desks without fresh blood entering their realm. The article I wrote was part of a trial article for a website related to technology I applied for just to start getting my name out there again after some years being abscent from writing and getting my byline heard.

But guess what? My byline wasn’t heard or even shown. This guy, named Keiran Hathorn who is the managing director of Big Wave Digital, decided to publish an article I”ve sent him under his own byline without telling me beforehand or even as he published it. He sent me this e-mail and that is how I found out:

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Here is the actual article, entitled “How Startups are Utilizing Watson AI Algorithm for Mobile Workflows.” The article had many revisions as well, since he complained that his blog already had similar content to what I originally sent him, a piece based on remote work advsncements in general.

The way he wrote that e-mail without informing me thst my byline, profile, or even a quick mention of the contributing writer (me) below was just plain rude. I’ve since wrote him two e-mails asking why he never informed me beforehand or discussed with me the fact my byline wasn’t even used.

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This isn’t journalism, it isn’t even off-hand publishing — especially from what the website is trying to pass itself off as: a legitimate company. It’s almost plagiarism in my opinion. My whole point wasn’t the meager pay he offered to write comtent for his website, but to get my name out there as being sctive again in tech reporting and coverage. Unfortunately, it seems I’ve wasted my time.

This is just one of the many examples as of late that reminds me of why I left the field for a few years to begin with, why I lost enthusiasm in freelance writing snd journalism overall. It has truly gone downhil, with the advent of the Web. Maybe it is because I have had bad luck and should totally avoid job boards and listings (including journalismjobs.com and LinkedIn), but it is the whole industry.

As an example, just take a look at the most professional or high-level news networks out there today and you’ll see how they copy content from one another covering the same stories; how they are even sharing content from one network to another; how they fabricate facts; how they shuffle journalists from one company to another and force them to continually find new work or new advsncements due to trestment or due to the simople fact the management is not pleasd with their content (some cases objectivity). It really is in a low state and many agendas not including objective journalism are at play.

Not only are freelancers competing with the people from third-world countries who are driving rates down, free content, but these network managers, editors, and Webmasters who are trying to drive every inch out of the writer while keeping the highest bottom line possible. This treatment, instead of working with the writer and other content creators to create the best pieces and content possible so everyone benefits. Sad, really… almost like being a slave laborer, but in my case with a bachelor’s degree behind it.

Oh, and this doesn’t mention the fact that I tried to get my name in print recently from someone else advertising on the same network of freelance co tributions as this Keiran guy I found there, only to be shafted just because I don’t live in the Bay Area anymore (like it matters where you live when you are freelancing content anyway for a topic as far-ranging as autonomous vehicle technologies). This was after I already pitched him an article idea and he gave me a clear sign he wanted the oitch despite knowing I don’t live in the Bay Area anymore, but complaining that was what he was looking for.

Again, the state of this industry especially only is like the wild west. It is full of scammers. fraudulent websites advertising thrmselves as legitimate, no respect for writers or other contributors, ripping off writers, lying or not mentioning facts like your byline will be switched for theirs, and more. I may truly just start focusing on my art and maybe press release/resume work soon. who knows.

Just turn on your evening news to see where we are today in the world of journalism — from Web to print to broadcast.

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