Citizen journalist


Tweet to Aggers and reply

Proper journalists such as me are supposed to hate citizen journalists. In fact, we’re supposed to call them “witness contributors” or something else suitably PC, according to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). Well I don’t. I like citizen journalists. I like a lot of user-generated content.

I like the fact that communities get involved, tell us stuff, send in reports and photos and now take video and audio and comment. It adds loads and takes away nothing. I too am a citizen journalist – last week for BBC Radio’s cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew and for Test Match Special. Continue reading

Mad Monbiot

George Monbiot

Geroge Monbiot, hosted on The Guardian

Guardian ecology columnist George Monbiot has listed his earnings and savings and said all journalists should do the same. I am not sure if he is just showing off about how much he earns – more than £60,000 from the Guardian – but he cannot be serious.

Journalists should feel no more compunction to reveal their earnings and savings than anyone else. And it would be a mountain of work for the many of us who are freelance and such scrambled data would prove meaningless. I’ll have a go at explaining why. Continue reading

More please, Sir

Article in teh Journalist called Freelance: the musicalAn email discussion with freelances today about stagnant rates prompted me to dig out an article I wrote more than a decade ago on how to get a rate rise – based on the musical Oliver. It appeared in The Journalist in December 1999. I have reproduced it below.

I was on the way to speak at the London Freelance Branch when I learned that Humphrey Evans was speaking on the same subject. I knew Humphrey would say the same as me, so I needed to say it differently A call to my musical-mad friend resulted in this presentation hastily written on the train. Continue reading

Late pay gripes

This week, instead of being a journalist and trainer, I spent at least a day dealing with late paying clients. It was mainly AOL, which, until today, had not paid a single freelance contributor, despite us working since December.

My company has now been paid more than £10,000 by some clients and we have remittance advices in from others so will be paid by Tuesday. But as of today we have more than £21,000 of invoices outstanding, of which nearly £2,400 is already overdue. That is me lending companies money. Continue reading

Blog or bog off

In the past few days I have worked from my Macbook using mobile internet connections from:

  • The top and bottom decks of double decker buses
  • standing up on a London commuter train
  • Seated on a Virgin train
  • On the overground section on a London tube
  • In a Starbucks and a Pret
  • Standing on Oxenholme and Lewisham stations

I have used a mix of my Vodafone dongle and my BT Openworld account. And that is in addition to several other people’s home wireless broadband networks. Continue reading