Open Thread: A Note To TV News, Fellow Bloggers

Shame on WPIX 11 and News 12. Both of these stations called me, admitted to me that they discovered the story about the new sex shop, KamaSutra, on Sheepshead Bites.  They told me, “Oh, we love your site. You do such a good job covering the neighborhood…”

Blah, blah, blah…

If you follow Sheepshead Bites on Facebook, you know exactly where this post is going.

Both channels wanted to use my photos, presumably the one of the kids looking into the store’s window. So after flattering me, and telling me how great my work is, and how they used it to find this amazing story – they told me how great it would be,  how beneficial to me, if I gave them my work for free.

Screw that, and screw you local television news. If the Daily News or New York Post needs one of my photos, they’ll pay me for it. You, though, have been stealing content from everyone else for as long as I can remember. Where you used to take the front page stories from the city papers, without attribution, you now steal the content of every blogger in this borough, and never- NEVER – let viewers know where the story came from, or where they can find out more.

Don’t go and tell me about all the fantastic exposure I’m going to get from a “source” line under a photo flashed for a second. You’re profiting off my work in very direct ways, and all I asked was to be paid a fair freelancer’s rate.

I can’t just blame you, though, local news. I have to blame the bloggers, too. So eager to be recognized for their work, many of them forget that for some of us it’s our business and our lifeblood. So they keep handing over photo and info to you for nothing. They’re undercutting those of use who are trying to get paid fairly for our work.

So here’s the part to other bloggers: stop it. Stop giving these leeches what they want. Their reporters get paid, their cameramen get paid, their anchors get paid – and if any of them didn’t, they’d be upset. The owners of these companies are mega-corporations, many of global scope. They ain’t shakin’ a tin can.

But every photo you give them for free emboldens them to rip off the rest of us, the ones trying to make an honest living off of our websites. The ones trying to get paid for our hard work.

As a community, us bloggers need to collectively put our foot down and say no more. We will not allow large companies to profit from our work without compensation.

That’s  my Monday morning rant.