|John Keats' tombstone. He died on 23 February 1821 and was buried in the Protestant cemetery, Rome, Italy. His last request was to be buried under a tombstone, without his name. On his grave is written: This Grave contains all that was Mortal, of a Young English Poet, Who, on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart, at the Malicious Power of his Enemies, Desired these Words to be engraven on his Tomb Stone: Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water. ~ 24 February 1821 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
|Greensburg Volunteer Reception Center (Photo credit: Jon Person)|
It is an admirable truth that there are unpaid volunteers in many a workplace. Additionally on many a Sunday in a park near you, there may be a 8K charity run. You may well work at one, and run for the other.
Our third category of volunteer work is that of non-paid journalism. Before we explore it, however, let us examine your volunteering in the workplace and that sponsored 5miles jog, for Heart Foundation or Cancer Research. Simply put, your sponsored run will stimulate you, make you fitter and gladden your heart; knowing that it is always better to give than to receive.
Then, after putting in a month or two of volunteer work, depending on your work ethics -- timing, dressing, people skills and so on, rest assured if a job become vacant you are best placed and suited get it. Indeed, if not at that location, perhaps a solid recommendation elsewhere.
There seems however an unwritten law for neophyte journalists not getting paid these days for their demanding research and excellent written stories. Clearly, it is reasonable for students-run-papers and magazines, including digital ones, not to pay. The case may also stem to writing the odd article here or there for charitable organisations publications. The thought behind those two exceptions speaks for itself. So, it must be appreciated and indeed cherished. Non-payment of journalists must end there, however, for the good of this brilliantly essential industry.
Young writers leaving writing courses, and of course, mature ones too, who have switched to that field, should be paid. Naturally, their first payment might not be huge. Arguably, however, the writer would understand that. Even a small remuneration, voucher or some form of benefit should befall new journalists, young and older, alike. Call it expenses, call it a 'neophyte fee'. But pay it.
You must remember that publishers and new writers are on the same field of play, so to speak; although the latter on a much lower scale, since s/he is already further down the pecking order than experienced journalists. A remuneration of some form, rather nothing at all, seems a healthy way to start building bridges now, whilst simultaneously create respect in the world of journalism.
As John Keats put it: 'All writing is a form of prayer." By his analogy all writers should be paid a collection/fee -- however small; to start with. This would indeed satisfy Ruskin's labour of truth theory above, also.