News for sale

Linda Laine

Text: Linda Laine
Photograph: Senni Luttinen

Making foreign news is ridiculously expensive. You have to pay for travelling, accommodation, insurances, vaccines, medications, fixers, visa etc. For our two week trip the price tag per person is way over 1 000 euros. Thanks to different organizations and foundations we got scholarships that cover most of the costs, but this is obviously a rare luxury.

Finnish media houses are cutting down their expenses and the correspondent network has shrunk or disappeared from many newsrooms. Most of the foreign news are made from offices in Finland via phone, email or Skype interviews or by citing global media. Trips abroad are being limited by tight budgets.

Freelance journalist are covering more and more of the on-goings of the world. But living as a freelancer is tricky. You have to cover all your expenses with the amount of money that the newsroom is willing to pay from your article. This is often some hundreds of euros. Plus you have thinks about the stuff like pension contribution, rent, loans and everyday supplies such as food and toilet paper.

Nowadays people complain why media is not covering attacks in Turkey or Iraq. The answer is simple. It’s expensive to go there and report. Are you willing to pay for it or are you demanding to read it for free from the internet? News are not free, they are for sale.

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