News: A new home for Raptors Five Thoughts

Right, so yesterday I promised two pieces of news. The first was about Frankie Drake Mysteries; the second is about my Raptors Five Thoughts recaps. They’re moving!

It’s true, I will no longer be posting my recaps here at joshkern.com. Starting today, they’ll be published on RaptorsHQ, part of the SBNation group of blogs.

You have questions? I have answers.

So… what does that mean for Raptors Five Thoughts?

Not much changes on the front end, really. I’m still planning on writing my Raptors Five Thoughts after each game, aiming to have them up the following morning, just like I do now. I’ll post links to them right here, and on Twitter. It’ll just mean one extra click for you, to get over to RaptorsHQ to read them.

It should also mean fewer typos and errors, now that I have an editor! 🙂

Personally, I’m hoping that the greater audience and the team of editors and contributors at RaptorsHQ will help me continue to improve my basketball writing and my insights on the team and the games.

Wait… SB Nation… weren’t they the ones in that Deadspin piece…

Yes. SB Nation has gotten some bad press over the way the compensate contributors (which is to say, by not compensating them). You can Google it. It’s all out there.

And you’re OK with that…?

Is it lame to say “it’s complicated”?

Here’s the thing. When publications “hire” writers without paying them (or pretty much any organization hires unpaid interns), it sucks, because 99% of the time, they are taking advantage of young, struggling professionals that need a break. The organizations get free labour and play the “you’ll get experience” and “you’ll get your name out there” cards, knowing those young folks will, of course, have to take the opportunity, because, yeah, they do need it to build a portfolio.

It sucks because those individuals, like everyone who does work or any kind of service, deserve to be paid for the work they do. Beyond that simple truth, it also seems self-defeating: if these are the future of the business and if you take advantage of them early, you’ll either drive them away or make them hate the business before they’ve even started. Doesn’t seem like good business.

So if an organization can’t or won’t pay contributors, they shouldn’t take advantage of those young folks who need a break… they should “hire” people like me: people who don’t need a break and can work for free because they want to, not because they have to. I’m already a successful professional writer; I already get paid to write in my day job. I’m not trying to break into the field or get experience or get my name out there. I don’t have to bust my ass to build a portfolio. I just wanna write about the team I follow.

I do it because it’s fun and I enjoy it. I can do it here or at RaptorsHQ or some other site, and if it ever stops being fun or enjoyable, I can stop any time. Young writers are not so lucky.

Did you deal with that?

Personally I am lucky. I did do an unpaid internship, but it was done through the Journalism program at Sheridan; it was limited to two months and the company and I both had to file reports back to the school, ensuring that the work I was doing was valuable and that I was not being taken advantage of. It was a great experience. And a few months later I landed my first pro job; it was mainly proofreading, with a little writing, and it was a fully salaried position. A few months after that I became a full-time writer at the same company. And I was on my way.

Far, far too many young writers (and young professionals in many fields) are not so lucky.

OK, so what now?

My Five Thoughts on Game 38: Raptors 114, Nets 113 (OT) will be posted at SB Nation’s RaptorsHQ later today! And that’s where you’ll find them going forward.

I hope you’ll continue to follow and read my Raptors Five Thoughts, and if and when you have feedback, please leave a comment here, on Twitter, or on RaptorsHQ, or contact me anytime.

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