Monday, October 28, 2013

MediaWeek (V7, N42): Writing for Free, Comic Sutra, Autobiographies + More

Why writing for free is wrong (The Atlantic):
But the fact that so many people write for free, all the time, sits uncomfortably with the fact that writing is also, occasionally, a profession. And we have, in this country, a fairly clear sense that work deserves compensation. This is, for example, why I consider unpaid internships morally repugnant, since we're essentially asking that entry-level jobs, for which there is a minimum wage, be performed for free because somebody replaced the word "job" with "internship."
So here is the rub. Unpaid writing is all over the place. But writing is also a job. And jobs should be paid. So is it immoral for a publication to ask for somebody to write for free?
Unfortunately, the "slavery" article in Sunday's Times by Tim Kreider buries the simplest argument—that it's good to pay writers, nobody should appreciate this more than *other writers*—under an avalanche of righteousness, like "nobody would ever ask my sister to perform dangerous surgeries for free." Well, no they wouldn't, and thank heavens, because freelance lobectomies sound like a horrible idea. On the other hand, asking smart people to write for free on their spare time creates an impressive intellectual surplus. I am immeasurably smarter about stuff (I think) because of other writers' willingness to "enslave" themselves to blog networks.
Comic Sutra: Big in Bombay (New Republic)
Savi, with her long hair and voluptuous body, invokes the sensual female protagonists of the ACK series—but with a sly, modern spin. “Arousing sexual excitement and moral anxiety with equal ease, Savita Bhabi straddles both continuity and change,” said Shohini Ghosh, professor of media at Jamia Millia University in New Delhi. India is a major consumer of porn. The international porn star, India-born Sunny Leone, has said that 60 percent of her revenue comes from India. And Savi is now firmly embedded as an icon in the landscape of sexual contradictions that define India today. Characters like Savi have helped to open up the conversation about freedom of sexual expression. When the government shut down Savi’s website in 2009 in the name of the IT Act, which outlaws “lascivious” electronic material, feminists, journalists, and other anti-censorship voices rallied around her in the press.
Autobiography as public relations (Guardian):
Morrissey has inspired a lot of hostility from the literary establishment for insisting on publication as a Penguin Classic. He wants that inevitable rendezvous with posterity and he wants it now. Closer to the ground, or at least the players' dressing-room – a society he's said to have betrayed –Ferguson has provoked bitter accusations and angry rebuttals across the world of sport, from the likes of Roy Keane and Wayne Rooney. If the style is the man, as the French would have it, neither Fergie nor Morrissey have done themselves many favours, though they must be better off at the bank. Possibly the most subtle commentary on the continuing boom in memoir and autobiography, and the trouble it can cause, comes from Jennifer Saunders, Ab Fab's "Eddie", whose own autobiography is Bonkers.
From twitter this week:
Broadchurch the book to be published in 2014
SUNY faculty and libraries innovate to solve problems of high-cost textbooks by producing high-quality open textbooks
Netflix Flirts with a New Idea: “Big” Movies at Your House, the Same Day They're in Theatres :

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