Freelancer Says ‘No More’

Another day, another tale of a freelancer who couldn’t take it any longer.

This one comes from Chicago-based Katjusa Cisar who blogged recently about her departure from a hyperlocal network in Houston.

See the problem?

“Unlike AOL’s Patch, another provider of hyperlocal coverage, this business model relies not on editors who live directly in the community but on dozens of writers like me who sit at home and regurgitate press releases and comb through police reports and city records without having the faintest connection to the suburb or neighborhood being covered. How’s that for “hyperlocal”? I was never required to actually pick up the phone for a story,” she writes.

So, she quit, despite having no money or other major freelance contracts lined up.

Now what?

“On bad days, when I’ve got 22 unread tabs open and I’m sucking on the teat of Facebook for more-more-more and reading another post about the branding possibilities of Google+, I wonder if there’s even a point to adding another word to this crushing mess….I attended the annual picnic of the Chicago Association for Women Journalists (AWJ) at a Greek restaurant in The Loop and was floored to hear 50-somethings with reasonably successful careers and decades of experience talk sheepishly about submitting work for free to Huffington Post just for the clips. How sad. I’m not against doing work for free, but not for an established company that could pay if it felt like it…..snap out of this funk when I read about Longshot Mag and other ventures that focus on quality over quantity, meaning over branding and that treat social media as tools not idols.”

Since that fateful day, Cisar has recorded/conducted interviews for Long Shot Radio (a spinoff of Longshot Mag), among other things. Go, girl!