Why I’m writing this for free


2 thoughts on “Why I’m writing this for free

  1. Well I disagree with you and here are three reasons why.

    1) Donations go towards ALL the running of the paper and should include writers as well as administrators, janitors etc.

    2) If someone wants to write for free  – run a blog or enter contests, answer questions on Yahoo Answers. Anyone working AND benefitting others should be paid for that. You don’t have someone come and clean your home for free do you?

    3) THERE ARE ADS all over this article alone.  Ads generate revenue whether it goes to a nonprofit or not – any ad revenue on this page should be going to the tcdailyplanet.  If they need to hire someone to make more ad money then so be it – pay some people to generate better revenue.

    After losing homes, family and pets to this rotten economy I no longer will work for free. If others want to do that fine – but stop looking down your nose at people that expect to make a living doing what they do best. Stop saying that those people (getting paid) aren’t as noble.  That is a bunch of horse patootey.

    I am not a great writer – but I do try to scrape some extra income off to help feed my family and pets. One last attempt to sound sane…. I LOVE KIDS – raised four and worked youth groups.  But I no longer babysit for free unless it’s my grandkids. WHY –  Because everyone would love to take advantage of that. It’s the same with writing or painting or making cookies.  As the Bible says, “The workman is worthy of his hire.”

    Also while this might be great idea = to me its disingenuous to say you want to write for free – when there are ads all over the place on THIS PAGE. If you want to write for free – then don’t take ANY money and don’t run ad’s which draw away reader’s attention.  Put your editing money where your mouth is.

    Just my point of view.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Darla. Obviously we’re not going to see eye to eye, but I can contribute a clarification and respond to your remarks.

    To clarify, the Twin Cities Daily Planet does pay many writers: writers of assigned news stories. We also publish some unpaid content, including this blog post, because we simply do not have the budget to pay all our writers and we believe that we are doing a service to the community by offering a platform for writers to share their thoughts, if they choose, even if we can’t afford to pay them. Case in point: you chose to contribute your comment on an unpaid basis because you wanted to share your perspective on this topic, and we are pleased to offer our site, which our funders pay to maintain, as a venue for your writing. If we ceased running ads, as you suggest, that would cost our funders even more. They are certainly putting their money, and we staff are putting volunteer time and effort over and above our paid hours, where our mouths are.

    Running this publication, like any publication, is not free. We pay rent, we pay for our server, and we pay our staff to edit and maintain the site. The income we earn from advertisements covers only a small fraction of our expenses: the rest is covered by our generous funders. If we diverted operating expenses to pay all our writers, that would leave us without enough money to maintain the site, and the whole thing would come down. There would simply be no Daily Planet.

    Is that what you would have us do? Perhaps it is. I haven’t posed that question to Deb directly, but her post seemed to strongly suggest that any publication that doesn’t pay all its writers is not, on balance, making the world a better place. If one believes that all writing should be paid writing, one is saying that publications that can’t afford—not won’t, can’t—to pay their writers should just give it up. I will not, and while I don’t suggest that you’re ignoble for refusing to write for free, I do strongly disagree with the argument that publications like the Daily Planet and The Tangential and Paper Darts should stop what we are doing—at a cost, not a profit, to us—to provide a platform for writing that in many if not most cases would not be published at all if the writers waited to get paid for writing it.

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