The Best Things In Life Are Free?

During the last three years, we have had many offers for work throughout various industries. Quite a few have been from companies who were blatantly trying to take advantage of smaller or newer ventures.

One of our first experiences, three years ago, we were on site documenting a community day. Only for our local paper, you know who you are, to send a Photographer to document the event. The Photographer took one look at our drone, asked for our contact details, and subsequently went home. We received a call a day later asking for our images and the paper offered us a by-line for our efforts. This seemed fine at the time but once we realised that the Photographer had been paid for his 5 mins on site and comparably: we had to get pilots licences; the same cameras that the photographers use; drones which are maintained and above all safe; insurance; and skills which have been honed to create a bespoke service. Essentially our local paper doesn’t value local industry to the extent that they will pay them.

The refusal of print media to pay technologists has created a black hole of illegal videos which act as the public view on drone technology and it has drastically impacted the drone industry in a negative way. Now the only videos we see being promoted by papers are illegal –  and they don’t care at all. They care little for the levels of safety that they are promoting rather they only concern themselves with clicks and advertising revenue. This has been a massive detriment to drone companies trying to operate within stringent CAA regulations and flaunts the ability of unqualified drone pilots who fly in a very unsafe and illegal ways.

With the guys from day time TV, the story is much the same, everyone wants something for free or a by-line. Who watches day time TV? It certainly isn’t any of our clients, or anyone who may use our services, or anyone who has a decision as to whether to hire us. Day time TV production companies are some of the worst offenders when taking advantage of smaller companies. Get a phone call from “Gold Something Productions” or “Diamond Something Else TV” and they don’t want to pay for stock footage nor your time to create videos, they will offer a credit at the end of the video. Who sticks around to watch them? Anyone who is going to hire us? No. It’s all about ripping smaller companies off.

With ratings and demographics showing clearly showing that there is a huge generational divide between platforms, it will only be a matter of time before the Legacy Media is defunct (2025 by some estimations). As with the creation of the printing press, control of information is changing swiftly and less and less rely on the Legacy Media’s whitewashed and controlled Grand Narrative, but would rather watch source material examined by a youtube commentator.

Journalism is dead, as it is now residing within the habitat of clickbait and lies.  The publics aversion to information control is history repeating itself and this can be evidenced by the declining paper sales and viewer numbers. When the printing press was finally placed in the hands of the public, control over information was the primary concern and it caused philosophical division for hundreds of years. Legacy media is over as they have not evolved with society, they have stagnated and are now languishing.

Online media is the future and it wouldn’t surprise me to see ex journalists band together to offer a digital version of a paper, but on a social media platform. Bring on micro transactions and pay per click as my generation will pay for content if it is readily available, but we do not pay for stuff we don’t want. It will be my generation’s TV – we can support content creators with our wallets while paying for what we want, not pay for everything and only enjoy a small amount – like previous generations.