Midweek News 30th Sept 2009

Hi everyone,

  1. There will be a Perth Diary column for Sunday. Check back on Sunday when it will be up on The Sunday Leader website and this one as well.
  2. There hopefully will be a link to an article written for the Science Network WA sometime this week. It will be handed in this week and they are basically trying me out. So whether it goes up on the Science Network site or not is currently debatable.
  3. I also wanted to let you all know that I got my Australian press pass today! Basically I joined my union – the union for all those who inform or entertain or work in the Australian  media, Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) – a couple of weeks ago and I got my ethics card, shopping discounts, magazine and my press pass in the mail today. You can even get your picture on it. I probably will be very dorky and carry it around everywhere I go now. I really recommend joining your union wherever you are as they tell you what a fair price for your work is and give you access to lawyers and accountants and retirement related goodies. Basically, joining them means, people have to pay you the correct rate or they get sued and they have to treat you properly in the workplace or they get sued. I’ll write a Perth Diary column on this soon.
  4. I have also managed to get through to the first round with my application for cadetship to the West Australian! Gary Hartree who sounds like the most awesome person on the planet, called me to ask me to come in for a general knowledge test on October 12th. Basically, they test you and then depending on how well you score on the test, they ask you to come back for an interview. If you ace both the test and the interview then you are on the shortlist for the six positions for the cadetship. The cadetship is full time  and paid starting in February next year and you are taught all the basics of how the West Australian newspaper works and shorthand, touch typing and other such journalistic stuff. My goal now is to try to learn as much of those skills as possible in the next few months because even if I don’t get the cadetship, if I am going to start freelancing on the journalistic side of things, I am going to need to know these things.
  5. I have also applied for a cadetship/internship position with the ABC. With the ABC! I filled in the application form last Friday. The same deal applies except that this position could be anywhere in Australia so if I do get through the general knowledge test, the video and sound check, and the interview, I might have to move interstate.
  6. In website related stuff: I am hoping to move over the photographs at lightrefraction to a subdomain here such as photography.marisa.com.au or lightrefraction.marisa.com.au . I don’t really want to mix it up with this blog too much though I will probably post links to it from here.  I guess I am in the process of simplifying things as much as possible. I have stripped off a lot of unneccessary pages and information and put in a few things, I thought people might like. The banner (which was only temporary to start with) will also change soon.
  7. As for Compendium, well, I really don’t know. I wanted it to work as a multi author book review site but I couldn’t convince anyone I knew to put the time into it. I was hoping it would take off into something along the lines of the ABR (though obviously not as huge as the ABR is). What I would love to do is have an online magazine site, have everyone pay $1 per month to access it and then be able to pay people the proper award rate to write for it. If the only cost was paying the writers and hosting (I don’t think I’d want or be able to take a salary from it) then I am pretty sure it could work provided I had a large enough audience. I feel if newspapers are going to work online and make a profit they either need to be free or need to ask for the equivalent  price of what they sell for on the newstands or less. So if you pay $6 for the Monthly, it needs to cost $6 or less online for full access for the month or be free. I don’t think big corporations can do this but perhaps small ones can, where the writers are paid and perhaps the editors/tech people are volunteers or rotate as part of internships. Because my goal would be to get the writers paid at $0.80 per word, the hosting paid, postage and then left over cash can go to paying the editors at (to start with $60 per hour and then if the heavens provide the award rate of $211 per hour). And if I was editor, I wouldn’t get paid, because I would want to run it to generate a profit to be able to pay the writers who are starting out and give them a place to gain some experience because that’s what I looked for and could not find at first. If you are genuinely interested in this idea as a writer, please let me know what topic you would like to write about and so on and maybe we can work this out. Maybe. We have to figure out how feasible it would be. Would be editors you may have to wait for a bit till it starts, runs for a bit and we figure out costs etc. I would love for the magazine to be a book review one like the ABR so we can have all sorts of genres but if we could make it work, it could potentially work for other topics as well.  I will post this again as another seperate post.

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