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you’d get the five or six hundred up to a thousand for an opinion. Now you can get
250 or 220. The most I’ve made off an opinion was for 6600 for a piece I wrote
about Bill Cosby with all the syndication. You can’t make that kind of money now.
Everyone can and does give their opinion so it’s different now.
Because everyone essentially is offering their opinions for free, the value of writing has
decreased substantially and jimi reveals, “Yeah, the market in my opinion has devalued
about 60 percent since 2003 or 2004.” jimi is realistic enough to see the writing on the wall
and continues working on his projects while attempting to secure employment teaching film
and creative writing. His advice to students is candid, heartfelt, and he has the courage to
speak the truth about what has happened in journalism:
These kids need to invent something the next Google or iPhone app. There are
just no jobs in media. These managers are holding onto their seats at newspapers
and they’re just biting their nails every day just waiting for the pink slip. It’s just a
matter of time. These newspapers are just bleeding money. It’s sick. Profits are
down eight percent and people who are making six figures are the people that are
going to go first -- but the mailroom clerk. . .” jimi then segues to the guy working in
the mailroom. “There’s this joke I have about black people who work in mailrooms
or as custodians those are some of the most secure jobs there are. Those
people don’t have an education at all. But there’s always going to be a floor that
needs to be washed or mail that needs to be delivered. You know the mailroom
guy that you’re laughing at today with the headphones and ‘afro’ he’ll be there
years and years and years after you’re gone. He’ll be the one with the gold watch.
I know this for a fact. There’s this guy I used to work with . . .about ten years ago
and when I was there he had been there for eight years. Now flash forward ten or
fifteen yeas later and he’s a VP because after awhile they have to give you
another title but he’s still in the mail room and he has been there fifteen or twenty
years. People are thinking that’s really sad or pathetic but at least he has a job.
He knows he’s going to be there.
When asked about what kind of lessons he could offer an up-and-coming creative writer or
freelancer he notes:
I would tell them to go work at Starbucks. I’m just lucky. I just happen to know
what I’m doing. I wouldn’t try to make a living freelancing. I wouldn’t encourage
anybody to make a living freelancing. I’d tell them to get a job at Starbucks. Write
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