Sports Journalism.org | Hardball Talk
Rick Reilly told University of Colorado journalism graduates that “when you get out there, all I ask is that you DON’T WRITE FOR FREE!” That’s bad advice says Jason Fry. Don’t automatically turn up your nose when someone promises you no reward other than exposure, he advises grads. Here’s why:
• You’ll get a byline and a link you can point to when people ask what you’ve done before.
• You’ll appear in a publication that people have heard of and take seriously, meaning they’ll be more likely to take you seriously.
• You’ll have someone reading your stuff who can make it better and teach you how to make it better before it ever gets to them.
Craig Calcaterra also says Reilly gave out “horrible advice”:
No, you don’t work for free forever because, hey, ya gotta eat. But most people do have to either take unpaid internships or blog and otherwise hustle to make it in the media these days. Advice that says “NEVER DO THAT!” is useless, because most of those graduates will be asked to do it. They key is to know what unpaid writing gigs could lead to the development of one’s career and, ultimately, into paying jobs and what unpaid writing gigs are essentially slave labor offered by a company simply looking to get something for free.