Thursday, 25 November 2010
What happened when a workie sent the Indy a bill
I've already written about how the NUJ is taking up the case of unpaid journalism interns and wants to help them claim the national minimum wage for work done for free .
Now Girish Gupta has contacted me about his campaign for those on work experience to be paid the freelance rate for any of their work that is published.
When Gupta invoiced the Independent after a two week placement, during which he had stories published in the paper, he was given short shrift. He has published his email correspondence with executives at the Independent on his own site.
In one email, the Independent's deputy editor Adam Leigh described Gupta as "particularly idiotic" and he was told not to contact the paper again.
Gupta says he believes it is "morally unjustifiable" for the Independent not to pay for work it published. He also says the reason he is targeting the Independent, as opposed to other places he did work experience, is because "it was, by far, the one at which I most did the job of journalists, essentially filling in for a paid freelancer or staffer".
Gupta, now freelancing in Mexico, told me: "I'm sure I won't be having too many bylines in the Independent anytime soon but I hope that other editors can see that I'm doing what I believe to be right. Journalism is meant to be about outing what you think is wrong so hopefully I am doing that."