Creators need to pay creators

Get a musician friend to compose music for free for your audio slideshow or online video: that was one suggestions from multi-media trainer Robb Montgomery of at a recent Wordstock seminar. But should creators really be asking other creators to work for free?

Montgomery’s sessions were full of pointers on useful tools, devices and techniques frontline reporters and freelancers can use to improve their online multi-media storytelling, but as a freelancer myself, that suggestion that we get pals to work for free (or strangers to contribute music for free in exchange for links to their homepages) was problematic. Because if we expect others to value the creative effort it takes to craft our stories, shouldn’t we value the creative efforts of musicians whose music we hope will enhance that storytelling?

My sister Tina Pittaway, a broadcast journalist who also creates podcasts for corporate clients, offered a blunter response to Montgomery: how about budgeting for music if it’s so essential to our work?