Sunday, December 15, 2019

How most "independent journalists" make a living: they still depend on mainstream media



I attended a screening of “Freelancers: Mexico” at the Newseum Saturday, and the audience comprised largely many independent journalists.

Most of the journalists make a living by making contracts with major media to cover specific events in specific locations with photojournalism.  This happens even as mainstream media cuts back news bureaus, especially overseas, and regular reporter employees. 

Relatively few of them try to run major video channels or blogs to establish their own personal brands. 

So they weren’t as familiar with the mainstream media’s attempts to squash independent channels (like David Pakman’s) by making the latter look advertiser unfriendly and even supporting collusion and deplatformings (or at least demonetizations, like Ford Fischer’s), as I had expected.

They were aware that mainstream media is creeping toward more bias and is losing objectivity, as it faces pressures from advertisers, investors, and politicians.  (Example:  the Covington kids.)  

Yet most of the journalists didn’t have a lot of confidence in branding themselves publicly alone, and I thought that was interesting.

A lot goes into having a personal brand as someone who transmits news and sometimes influences policy perspective on some important issues.  This is becoming more problematic and I’ll be coming back to that.
  
Also, on the whole issue of social media and websites and YouTube channels misusing (sometimes inadvertently) personal information, there are some capacities already around that we can look at as to whether they help.  They all range from browser tools (incognito, do not track, etc), to possibly router settings, smartphone and operating system settings.  Maybe more can be expected of users.  Pakman has mentioned a service called “privacy.com” that I’ll come back to soon. 

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