Journalists could go on strike too except that no one cares
In light of the writers’ strike, I’ve had several journalist friends ask me the same question that Albert Kim poses here on The Huffington Post: Why don’t journalists get residuals? He answers this question thoroughly so no need for me to wax on about it, but it did get me thinking, especially because I am a freelance journalist.
According to Kim, I am the creature who operates most like a Hollywood writer (even writing about but not for Hollywood), so I could make the best argument that I deserve residuals. As an independent contractor, companies don’t have the automatic right to use what I write on the Web or anywhere else, although I can certainly report that they can and do and don’t pay me for it.
Anyway, this is not actually a sideswiping way to ask the fine editors of B&C (or any of the other publications for which I write) for residuals, but to a) raise the issue and b) shed more light on why the writers are striking. I’ve heard a lot of people express no sympathy for the writers, noting that their jobs are glamorous, well-paid and located in desirable places to live. I understand that point of view, but most TV writers also work like 14 hours a day and rarely see the sun. The world around them is glamorous – their lives, not so much. And even if they are living the American dream, don’t they still deserve fair pay for fair work?