On Being A Progressive BloggerApril 23, 2012 - Author: newscoma - Comments are closed
I’m going to talk about a touchy subject and if you don’t want to read it, then I implore you to go look at this picture of a raccoon.
Earlier this week, I was offered a $3 advertising offer from a company that wanted to put an ad on this blog. Last month, because I know a little bit about Tennessee political history, I was asked if I would write a 2,500 word essay on Annabelle Clement O’Brien. The offer was a penny a word.
Let me repeat, this has just been in the last couple of months. This isn’t new.
Sometimes from very kind people who are long-time readers of Newscoma, I will get emails about why I don’t blog with the frequency and volume that I did a couple of years ago. It’s because that I’m in freelance now which ebbs and flows like a backed up creek sometimes so I have to continue to hustle to find work to make my life comfortable. I am lucky to have one steady p/t gig but my budget remains tight and paycheck to paycheck.
Waiters and bartenders get tips. Writers and media folks don’t. It’s just true.
And this is what I see because obviously Suzy is going through the same thing.
There is no progressive equivalent to the wingnuts’ welfare system. George Soros won’t send bloggers money, no one wants to hire the old guard bloggers like me for think tanks or high-falutin’ magazines. The funny thing is, as bloggers continue to do this soul-searing, butt- and cardiac busting work, we are still relentlessly criticized for our many shortcomings by our own readers (many of whom are notoriously absent during our fund drives).
No matter what else you can say about conservatives, they do take care of their own. Progressives expect us to do our work as a public service, but we still have to pay rent – and medical expenses. Look at some of the bloggers we’ve lost on our side – people like Steve Gilliard (The News Blog), Jim Capozzola (Rittenhouse Review), Melanie Mattson (Just A Bump In The Beltway) and Jon Swift, who just didn’t have the money to pay for medical bills and died as a result.
Our smart, informed, hardworking liberal bloggers aren’t the ones who get those nice CNN jobs. It’s wingnut morons like Erick Erickson.
Why do so many readers think nothing of riding for free on our hard work and yes, sacrifice?No, I’m not talking about the people who are out of work themselves, or otherwise hurting. Hell, no. I mean the people with jobs and some level of security who turn to blogs like this several times a day for the news they need to know, but never even think to contribute.
I have occasionally had people leave me a few dollars in the pot and there is one fantastic soul who leaves me a Christmas present each year that literally has saved the holiday for me.
We’ve lost some fantastic bloggers around this state and we’ve gained a few as well. And many of us have broken national stories, including myself.
As Susie said quite eloquently, it’s the Erick Erickson’s of the world that advance. And there are far too few Rachel Maddows. The right has systems in place that value its online scribes. For many of us on the left, we just don’t have the infrastructure by stakeholders.
So help the progressive blogosphere out when you can. Buy a blogger a beer by putting a few bucks in their paypal account. Leave them a comment when you like their work or let them know about opportunities. Share their work. Not just me, I’m talking about other folks as well.
Just don’t offer them a penny a word because that flattens your soul out like a runny pancake. I wish that I could say that this only has happened once, but it happens to so many of us all the time.