The Freelancer's War

Friday, September 13, 2013


The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that nearly half of the journalists killed in Syria since the conflict began were freelancers. Several UK based newspapers said they would no longer use freelance journalists in war zones. But, according to documentarian and teacher Richard Pendry, these same newspapers are still hiring freelancers, but setting up hurdles to lower the papers’ liability.

Andrew Pekler - Here Comes the Night


Richard Pendry

Comments [2]

derek monroe from round lake, il

As an independent writer that recently got back from the region (I personally don't use the word freelancer (please look it up in Webster dictionary on what it means)), I think the subject matter OTM pounces on is interesting. That said I think reliability on people on the ground to report what is going on is decreasing not only due to shrinking budgets but also to increasingly open politics of reporting aka political spin game. It is visible not only in commercial media but also NPR which has majority of its reporters "reporting" on Syria from Turkey or Lebanon as they would have some amazing mental and physical teleportation ability. It is all in name of creating a narrative that fits politics du jour. About being a "freelancer" OTM has a point that being it is expensive as all costs including reporters' lives are on them. It is also really cynical reality that many subcontractors (media companies) that contribute to US public radio expect
the work to be done The trend comes from commercial exploitation of writers and the ones stupid and wealthy enough who are able to afford it. (You can google: Nate Thayer for more info). Ironically OTM also has Ariana Huffington, the super vampire of the exploitative class on in a different segment of the hour). That said you get what you pay for. Certain subjects such as in my case (Fukushima or Iraq Kurdistan) are just not covered for variety of reasons or if they are they are they are so carefully edited and narrated that you cannot tell where the truth begins or ends.
PS.One dynamic also never ceases to amaze me how a 250-300k/year executive in NY or Washington can tell a writer/reporter that budget wise "things are tough" so he/she can do the work for free or next to nothing. Some of them used to be reporters themselves so it is interesting how the life perspective really changes from where one sits.

Sep. 15 2013 02:18 PM
Mark Stamey from Mew York, Key Largo, Hollywood, CA.

Dear All,

Thank you again for the interview you did on me many years ago. Your program is still my absolute favorite.

I want to bing attention to the use of ambiguity and obfuscation regarding the United State's reasons for the successions of invasions (re classified as "Wars".

A bomb IS a chemical weapon.

A bomb is usually used as "A weapon of mass destruction".

I presume that no "chemical weapon" can distinguish among men, women and male and female children, but the "Women and children" is a cliche that obviates the suffering and death of the victims and their extended families.

Propagating the use of these cliches is equal to reinforcing an illogical and deadly dogma.

I thank you for the opportunity to write to you; I LOVE your show and still believe I was and am "Unworthy" of the attention you afforded me when I worked "The Bummer Beat" for The New York Post.

Be bad.

Mark Stamey

Sep. 15 2013 09:46 AM

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