Dear Foster Kamer:
Maybe the salaries in journalism are low because they implicitly pre-empt a collective penalty for all transgressions in the writing community. In other words, maybe all writers get a little more unpaid because of the unprofessionalism of a few.
Rachelle, I respect the site you’ve built, but I have to be honest: This statement is complete and utter crap. Every job—no matter what the level of pay!—has its slackers. Writing as a vocation has a lower pay threshold in its entry levels because it’s (somehow, haha) glamorous, and as a result people who already have money, and who can thus afford to take a pittance, do so—from the celebrity-scion “interns” to the socialites who cover things for Vogue to the ever-increasing number of celebrities whose natterings on every subject from Citi Field to Kris Kristofferson are taking up evermore column inches.
If you think higher-ups care enough about journalistic “unprofessionalism” that doesn’t result in either a lawsuit or an unflattering item on some influential blog to actually factor the possibility of said acting-out into peoples’ pay grades, you haven’t worked at enough content companies that aren’t run by you. (And I’m jealous, believe me.) I guess the “point” here was made as far as argument-settling goes, but the “mistakes of the few should be suffered by the many” implied within came off as really galling to me, both as someone who busts her ass and as someone who’s spent far too much time lately watching a lot of her supremely talented friends wonder what sort of job they’re going to have in six months.
(And perhaps it’s nitpicking of me to also point out that someone speaking in her position as “editor” should also edit her own prose, but accusing someone of using straw-man arguments and then comparing said accusee to FOX News in the same breath would have certainly drawn a bracketed note from me.)
We would’ve worked “treading water in a sea of retarded mediocrity and bad prose” into the discussion but that’s really just nitpicking, isn’t it?