Nov 15, 2007

City Council Votes to Buy Parcel, The Movie

Sometimes writers make arguments just to start an argument. Maybe that's what Albert Kim was doing when he said news writers should be paid residuals the same as writers in Hollywood.

As someone who lacks money and would like to get more of it for my work, I understand the sentiment that news writers should be valued more by the companies that profit them. I've even written about it here.

Residuals don't seem to me to be the way, however.

In Hollywood, writers craft stories to entertain and earn money. In newsrooms, writers craft stories to inform and are supposed to be insulated from profit concerns. Residuals are paid to a Hollywood writers when the product of their work is repackaged for sale and more money is made - it's their business plan. News stories are rarely repackaged for sale and reporters aren't supposed to avoid plans that includes making more money depending on the stories they choose to tell.

Reporters should be treated as professionals, not replaceable widgets, and that means better compensation. And maybe there are rare cases when residuals would be a good idea, but overall I think it's a slippery slope that will undermine responsible journalism.

I'll leave you with a more cogent point, made by Counterglow at Huffington Post:

Why Don't Journalists Get Residuals?
There's an easy answer to this: Good writing is hard to do and requires talent. Studio execs might curse and beat up their secretaries over the strike, but they know they need good writers to make good films. Journalists, on the other hand, understand that the "Top Ten Sexiest Celebs" list, which can be typed up by a chimp, will get more readers/viewers than a Watergate-quality investigative piece.Therefore Hollywood writers can strike for residuals. Journalists understand they can be replaced by a high school kid with a camera phone and a laptop.


Stay positive.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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