Sunday, 15 February 2015


Episode 37, 14 October 2013 

Over exposure doesn't pay

Press photographers are finding it more and more difficult to get paid work, with companies offering 'exposure' rather than money and people giving away images for free on the Internet.
And now to a theme that keeps recurring on this program: the difficulty of making a living out of journalism in the modern age.

Last month, Tennis Australia offered an exciting opportunity for sports photographers with this ad on .

Photographers: December Showdown

—, 6th September, 2013

Tennis Australia was looking for snappers to cover its December Showdown when some 2000 tennis players ** will face off in Melbourne for a coveted spot in the Australian Open.

**Correction: This should say that hundreds of players will compete in more than 2000 matches.

Applicants were warned they would need:

Previous experience and study in photography and ... a strong knowledge of tennis...

—, 6th September, 2013

They were also told they would have to have strong administration skills, exceptional attention to detail and flexibility with work hours.

To cap it all they were advised:

A key requirement of this role is that you own your own camera and equipment and have a portfolio of work, especially action shots that can be submitted with your application.

—, 6th September, 2013

All in all it was a lot of work. And not a job for amateurs.

But believe it or not, Tennis Australia was seeking volunteers.

As in: the photographers would not be paid; they would work for nothing.

All they would get is valuable experience!

Now, Tennis Australia pulls in more than $200 million a year in revenue and makes a profit. It has just raised the prize money for the Australian Open to $33 million, and it was trying to hire a junior PR Person for the same December showdown at $40,000 a year.

So it’s hardly surprising there was a storm of complaint on social media, where a special Facebook page was set up for the fight.

Tennis Australia, Pay Your Photographers

[John McEnroe]: Tennis Australia you cannot be serious!

— Facebook, Tennis Australia, Pay Your Photographers

The journalists’ union, the MEAA, also weighed in with a strongly-worded letter demanding the photographers be paid, whereupon Tennis Australia withdrew the ads.

But it seems it’s sticking with its plans .

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