Livinghigh: Making do with bread and butter
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Livinghigh was here at 6:50 PM /

Making do with bread and butter

Alright, the following is a blog entry on Desi Media Bitches, but I copied it here, for the benefit (?) of anybody who never goes there. Also, because, as my PERSONAL blog, this baby gets priority and first digs over anything I write. ;-) (Do excuse the paternal outpouring)

Ever wonder why we are sooooo underpaid? They say it comes with the territory. Imagine a conversation running in your head with imaginary stuck-up people, with imaginary wine glasses in their manicured hands: o, so you're a journalist, are you? So where's your khadi bag and your miniscule paycheck? O, but of course you're supposed to be poor, if you're a journalist - you're meant to start off from the very bottom, wade through all the mud, get dirty, nice and dirty, before finally sucking up to some high-profile politician or corporate head honcho, that will convince your boss you've made it where it counts, so that you get another little pittance as a bonus.

That's life, dah-ling. Clink of wine glasses, and snooty noses turn higher up in the air, as wine is ingested. You're a rookie journo, so the only wine you get to have is at official events, at which you arrive with your khadi bag, and a dog-eared note-book in tow, on the slow train from Borivilli, via Hell. That's journalistic life, dah-ling.

Well, I hate that. And I keep wondering why we never protest about that. I keep wondering why we talk about ethics and grammar and dissemination of truth and so many other things, except how much we as journalists are worth to the papers/ channels/ websites/ companies we work for. And the answer is clear: we are worth a pittance.

People say that TOI is a corporate house, and not a newspaper. Well, I guess, in this respect at least, TOI decides to fall in line with the 'industry' standards (for, let us not fool ourselves - given all the breast-thumping and moral high ground, we are an industry at the end of the day) and starts off its newcomers with a mingy 8k. When I went for my first job interview at the Express, the fat old man behind the desk with his toothy grin offered me 7k, with the disclaimer that since I was experienced in journo school, I was getting 7, and not the 6k that the paper usually offers rookies. Brilliant - other than the fact that there's no way any any respectable citizen can live in a city like Bombay (or any other city, for that matter, if you ask me!) on that kind of a paycheck.

A fact that BigMedia and BigSales seems to be very conveniently blind to.

So, yes, that's my big growse against the establishment. How come the big boys in sales zoom into the office complex in their BMWs, and have executive lunches in the executive dining room, and have their personal laptops to play with, and wear Prada and Gucci and other Italian names that find their way into imperfect imitation designs on Fashion Street? How come they have a nice big chocolate mousse cake, topped up with a cherry, followed up with sparkling red wine, while we're the ones hanging in the sidelines, with plastic plates in hand, making do with plain ole Farrini - and we're the ones who provide the matter that goes out there to the world. That pays for all the chocolate mousse, and the cherries and the red wine. hic!

Bread, butter, dah-ling - we're it! So treat us better - and for heavens' sake, do pay us better, while you're at it!


Post a Comment