Thursday 25 November 2010

More on the workie who challenged the Independent: Is he a Clark Kent or David Brent?

My story today on Girish Gupta, who tried to bill the Independent after doing two weeks' work experience on the paper, has sparked quite a debate on Twitter.

The jury seems split about Girish's attempt to invoice the Indy and his campaign that anyone doing work experience should get the freelance rate for any work published.

Some think he should have realised he wasn't getting paid, others praise him for being brave enough to speak out on the issue of young journalists being exploited.

As Girish, now a freelance in Mexico, emailed me: "Twitter seems to be ablaze with this. Have been called the David Brent and Clark Kent of interning! It's so very divisive. My site's had more hits today than a usual month." The site has published his email correspondence with the Independent.

Posts on my story ranged from: "Girish sounds like just the kind of gutsy person we need to be attracting into our floundering industry, instead of the servile, chinless off-spring of the privileged mummies and daddies, who can fund their kids to "work" as unpaid interns for how ever long it takes"... to..."Don't encourage him. You're supposed to research things like pay before you start these thing. You are a journalist right?"

Malcom Coles has interviewed Girish by email at length today.

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