Want good content? Then don’t be unwilling to pay for it

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I woke up to an email notifying me that my write-up was published by Women’s Web. I had been trying to be there for a while and my experience with expressing my desires and a one-sided attachment with men went sour, like it does with most women.

Here it is

This felt good. It meant I am a decent writer, at least.

I work in a newspaper. The largest circulated English Daily in the world. My job makes everyone feel I am a very important person and my pen wields a lot of power.

The ones who say the above ask me for favors which I rarely give them. Because I can’t. And also because many of them diss the newspaper but want to get published in it nevertheless.

My friends keep on telling me to do something about the quality of news that gets published or the sheer number of advertisements they find every day.

I have been hearing that much before I joined the organisation. I kid you not, the advertisements, pages and pages of which greet us during festive season, would make me feel frustrated navigating my way to the main page as a reader. People are not wrong.

As an employee, and especially as a person in charge of the edit and art section of the revenue generation department, I feel like a second-class citizen and utterly helpless when we are forced to sell our souls to the client and let them throw certain guidelines out of the window.

Displeasing them runs the risk of loss of revenue.

Nobody likes doing that. But, what choice does anyone have?

People want to read good content but do not want to pay for it.

They might say they will. But, trust me, they don’t when the time comes.

That is why Ev Williams early morning mail made such an impact on me and I signed up for it.

Giving people the best content as part of their privileges of being a premium member; changing the revenue model and making sure readers and members will not have to keep scrolling endlessly to find what they’d want to read makes my life easier. I am a new member and I spend a lot of time here.

That is why I signed up for it. I have heard loads of BS on how news should be this, writing has to be that, but see no one doing their bit to keep the engine running. You need money to generate cost of production. When newspapers begin depending on advertisers for revenue, content suffers greatly. But, there’s no choice.

People complain about the quality of news feed on Facebook, Quora or Twitter, calling it a house of trolls. But, I bet most of them would quit the day they will be asked to pay for all what they do there. I spend time on all the three social networks and I have to keep clearing out my news feed on Facebook or area of interest in Quora because of endless scrolling to reach the desired content. Twitter and Quora are best examples of how trash gets in amid all the free informative stuff.

The reason we sign up for these platforms is to put forth our views, read and grasp other people’s perspectives on things and add our own.

And this move will ensure people who are here to read and write and learn from the repository of knowledge, wit, sarcasm, inspiration and basically everything under the sun that is covered here, get the best without exhausting their fingers .

Time is money. Everyone has deadlines to meet.

Becoming a paid member has made it easier for me to keep my motivation for writing better and better on the roll.

In any case, aspiring to be a writer is itself difficult and the journey harder than anyone could ever anticipate. It is not the “copy paste job” revenue monsters talk about.

I know because I work in an English newspaper. I know because we are staring at lay-offs right in front of us. I know because my mentor had rightly predicted that digital media will be the future and everything will have to be steered in that direction.

My job was called secure, next to a Government job. I was told print media is the best out of all other forms of media. Yet, I am in fear of that one email which would ask me to pack my papers and write-ups and leave.

The world we live in is volatile. You better think twice before you laugh at a writer and quip — “Filing stories, reporting, writing can be done by anybody!”

Before you criticise, ask yourself if you’d be willing to pay for excellent content, more than you do for other impermanent stuff.

You see, writing is permanent. The medium changes. But, it still is permanent.

For more, you can check out my Medium profile . I am also on Quora.


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