The Unsuitablog

Exposing Ethical Hypocrites Everywhere!

Money for Nothing and Your Soul for Free

Posted by keith on July 6th, 2011

We, the media and I, have an interesting relationship. They leave me alone for the most part, and I give them hell because for the most part they are an industry dedicated to anti-life propaganda. Sometimes, though, they will contact me for a quote, an interview and some advice on how to keep the system running. Usually they go away disappointed, not because I don’t deliver, but because I deliver entirely the opposite of what they are looking for.

On rare occasions I make a conversion. Those are good days.

Today, there was a call from a media organisation. Gerald was after some advice on energy efficiency to syndicate to various web sites and other media outlets. I said it was a bit mainstream for me. He said that would be ok, I could still give a comment if I wanted. Being in the middle of a conversation with a friend I asked him to email me some questions and I would be sure to get back to him.

When I got back home the email was there:

From: Gerald Heneghan
Sent: Wednesday, July 06, 2011 11:19 AM
To: keith[at]theearthblog.org
Subject: Advice for eco-conscious homeowners

Hi Keith,

As mentioned, we’re writing a series of articles on steps homeowners who are concerned about environmental can take to improve their green credentials on a day to day basis, i.e. with home upgrades and/or the types of purchases they make. I’ve included some of the key areas we’re looking to cover below. As mentioned, we syndicate our content so if there’s some places you’d rather your comments didn’t appear (i.e. the websites of energy companies for instance) then please let me know.

- What are the best steps for a UK homeowner who is concerned about the environment to take on a day to day basis?
- Can home upgrades, i.e. energy efficient light bulbs, double glazing, insulation be of use?
- How those concerned about the environment alter their consumer behaviour to reduce the impact of global warming?

If there’s anything further you’d like to add, please feel free to digress.

All the best,

Ged Heneghan
Reporter

There wasn’t much of interest there, and I was about to respond as such, but then thought to myself: “Hang on, if he really wants my views then I assume he will be prepared to pay for them.” The company, Adfero, make money from news syndication and advertising (not that I would see it, having AdBlock installed) and yet they are expecting me to provide their material for nothing. In a radio interview there is always an opportunity to get across something of my radical agenda, which means I never ask for payment of any other kind, but pure news syndication is a business. Why should I do that for free?

From: Keith Farnish
Sent: 06 July 2011 13:23
To: Gerald Heneghan
Subject: Re: Advice for eco-conscious homeowners

Hi Gerald

Thank you for your enquiry. Please ensure that my responses are uncredited, to prevent any potential conflict – you can just say “A respected environmental expert” or suchlike.

My flat fee is £100, for which you will receive an immediately usable set of answers that can be adapted to suit within 24 hours. Payment is by bank transfer / BACS.

Kind regards

Keith

The intention would be to word a fairly radical response in a way that it could not be taken out of context without losing the meaning. That would probably take me a couple of hours to compose and as a someone who, so I have been told, writes well and authoritatively on the issues in question, that sounds like a fair deal. Apparently not.

Hi Keith,

I’m afraid we’ll have to pass on this one, we’re unable to offer remuneration for comment.

All the best,

He wasn’t asking for comment, he was virtually asking for a free article. Here’s some advice for my peers – you are not media whores. Always ask yourself: “Who stands to gain most from this?” If the answer is, “The person / organisation doing the asking”, then walk away.

Well, you get paid, don’t you? It’s only fair.

I have to eat.

Keith

6 Responses to “Money for Nothing and Your Soul for Free”

  1. Brett Says:

    wow. i can’t believe they tried to get away with that.

  2. David Says:

    Every day they try this shit. And every day I ask them why I should work for free when they don’t; they never respond.

  3. Robert Says:

    So why do they turn to radical authors in the first place when there are plenty of mainstream environmentalists who are willing to say exactly what they want to be said without having to quote them out of context?

  4. keith Says:

    Because they never do their homework, Robert. Can be useful for stringing them along, though :-)

  5. keith Says:

    Didn’t get a response either, David.

  6. keith Says:

    Deal with the press for long enough and it becomes very believable, Brett.

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