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Paying contributors

Decision: 

Every month, at least three Dominion contributors are paid $100 by the Media Co-op. Additional contributors are paid by Locals to produce local content. Increasing the budget for contributors could mean hiring staff writers, paying for in-depth investigations, and/or commissioning stories from hard to reach parts of the country.

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Comments

Great articles are what the

5

Great articles are what the Dominion/Media /Co-op is built on.  Journalists deserve to be paid, and paid well. 

sustainable media

5

I think paying staff decent wages should be a priority, not only because journalists need to eat and be able to do their best when they work. They need to be paid also because projects like the media-coop/Dominion should, ideally, offer an alternative work environment and opportunity to the exploitative and corporate media world. Attempting to function outside of these dominant models is a political and ethical issue, as importnat as circulating alternative information.

paying staff

As a supporter of the Dominion, I have to say that your practices of paying staff minimum wage and expecting volunteer hours horrifies me. We need to put our ethics into practice. Please pay your staff living wages. If people want to volunteer let them volunteer. Pay your staff at least $15-$20/hour and they will have more to give than if they are being paid a mediocre salary. If this project cannot be run on living wages, then something big needs to change. I know there isn't much $$ but perhaps volunteers can also help out.
 

Journalists have to eat

5

Dominion-generated content is a must for credibility and, not least, legitimacy. To be in control of content, that is, to run the content envisioned by the membership, requires the ability to pay journalists to get those stories.

There should also be a portion of the budget set aside for professional photography. A lot of snaps is no substitute for one or two solid photographs with strong content to both aid in telling the story and leading the reader to the text. Despite the proliferation of digital image recording devices that can be anywhere and anytime, there is a dearth of credible photographs with proper captions and reliability. Photojournalists are no less accountable for factual information than journalists and placing a photograph in its proper context, complete with names of the persons in the photographs, is a part of the process.

Hats off to all those who have made this work so far. A wish list should shoot for the top.

Massive increase

5

I think that we need to massively increase the amount of the budget that is dedicated to contributors, and ensure that this amount keeps pace with the overall growth of the Media Co-op's budget.

As such, I'd like to propose to the Budget committee that a minimum of 10% of the total budget at any given time be allocated to paying contributors. Right now, that would mean allocating a minimum of $5,700 instead of $2,800 (as was allocated in 2009-2010).

I also suggest that we could be more innovative with our pay structure, paying more for significant, in-depth investigative reports, perhaps from a separate investigative journalism fund.

Pro-proportionality

I actually thought this 10% concept was instituted long ago. I really like the idea of earmarking a specific proportion proportion of the budget, as it demonstrates a commitment to current and potential contributors.

On a related note, I would love to see some clarification on the relationship between staff wages and the production of content. While it's important to compensate "freelance" contributors appropriately, it's also crucial that core staff is earning a living wage. It might be worth making some data available showing what proportion of content in The Dominion is produced by staff, vs paid and voluntary contributions. (My apologies if this data is already available somewhere.)

Of percentages past

Hey Rob,

Yeah, we did have a 10% policy waaay back in the beginning (2003-04 era), when our annual budget was more like $5000. Though it may have been 5%. It's been long enough since we discussed at all (we started the Media Co-op at some point in there) it that it needs to be re-proposed.

As for staff producing content, I don't think that there's a consistent policy on that, with the exception of Fortnight in Review, which is almost always written by staff.

this is key

5

Being able to pay for content will increase the reach of the Media Co-op in so many ways. I would like to see this be the absolute top priority for budgeting.
 

This could someday even be

4

This could someday even be increased for more substantial articles. Key to getting good content.

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