You don’t have to thank me. You have to pay me.

“You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.”Jim Rohn
There was a recent article that I came across on Facebook, via Freelancers Union, that quoted a Huffington Post editor as saying that he doesn’t pay his writers because:

“When somebody writes something for us, we know it’s real, we know they want to write it. It’s not been forced or paid for. I think that’s something to be proud of.”

I call bullshit. While it’s very noble to volunteer your writing skills, when it becomes your primary source of income then getting paid is an essentially part of your craft. As some of the comments pointed out, does this editor get paid for his services? Most likely, which brands him a hypocrite. It’s hard enough for freelance writers to et paid for their services at at reasonable rate, and on time, without having editors like this making it even tougher on us.

Yes, when I first started writing, I did a lot of it for free, in order to establish a portfolio of work. However, once I made the decision to make a go as a freelancer for a career, that changed. I may not have gotten paid a lot sometimes, but at least I did get paid. Now that I’m planning on resuming freelancing again once I’m recuperated fully, you can bet that I’ll be demanding pay for what I write. I don’t want to stay on SSD forever, as much as it has helped tremendously.
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin
Here’s to the restart of my writing career, and here’s the link to the article in question

In Japan, no one can hear you scream “I’m innocent!”

One of my good friends, photojournalist extraordinare Dan Ryan (http://brisbanegraphicartsmuseum.com/smallstories/ , http://lets-dan-ryan.tumblr.com/), is friends with journalist Jake Adelstein. If you’re not familiar with Adelstein, he wrote a best selling book, “Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan,” which chronicled his exploits as a reporter covering the Japanese Yakuza. Adelstein holds the distinction of being the only American reporter admitted into the Tokyo Metropolitan Police press club. While he no longer lives in Japan (death threats tend to make one a little mobile), he is still an active freelance reporter, and just had this article published for the Daily Beast:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/29/abandon-hope-all-ye-tried-in-japan.html

In short, the article outlines a justice system where 99% of cases result in a conviction, but there is more to this than meets the eye. Prosecutorial misconduct is the norm, double jeopardy is basically unknown, and an attitude of “guilty until proven guilty” pervades all aspect of the justice system in Japan. it’s a fascinating insight into a very insular world It also shows that while we certainly have more than our fair share of problems in our system, we still have protections that are unknown in Japan, such as habeus corpus, and Miranda. Give it a read.