Future of journalism
A few of us recently attended an event on the Future of News and Social Media, put on by News UK (one of our partners) as part of its News 3.0 series in Charlotte Street, London.
I am a final year journalism student at the London College of Fashion, and in my fourth year of unpaid internships. I have worked for free at seven publications: national newspapers, magazines and a local London paper. Sometimes I have had travel expenses, but mostly I have had to pay.
Turkey has surpassed the likes of China, Iran and Russia, when it comes to the number of journalists/authors in prison, many of whom are being held without charge.
At my house, an underappreciated Cambridge terrace filled up with me and two boys (also graduate journos), talk is always turning to the fact we've pitched ourselves into an industry that is having a bit of a flail.
Ethical, non-profit organisations naturally possess less marketing resources than profit making companies (especially the less ethical companies such as those in arms production, oil companies and others which damage the environment, profit from war and exploit third-world workers). As a consequence, such ethical sources of funding cannot be relied upon to support journalism to anywhere near the same extent as corporations can.
At the end of this saga, many journalists will be left standing, still with lovely jobs at glossy magazines, international news channels or at least, a regional political programme. But what sort of journalists will be left?
When I said, with a glowing "Oh ho!", that The Huffington Post had asked me to blog for them, I received minimal "Oh ho" back. "Write about unpaid journalism," snarked my Twitterfeed, apparently confusing writing the odd piece with being put in a sweatshop and lashed until a Pulitzer came out.
Just the other day, I was attending an event, and a friendly and I think genuinely interested Fashion Editor asked me about my background and how I ended up as a blogger. Had she not been that pleasant, I would have given the usual "we come from Mars where we were made in a big machine". Instead, I gave her a brief summary of the past 10 years of my life. It seemed to answer her question, but it made me feel uneasy, like I had to justify myself.