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profiles of famous media makers but I wanted more realistic portraits of everyday media
makers.
Stacey Vanek Smith in a Marketplace segment (September 7, 2011) discusses freelance
with Sara Horowitz of the Freelancers Union and Andrew Ross, a work and culture expert
at N.Y.U. The informed professors are realistic about the advantages, reward, and risks in
media and as Ross notes when it comes to students, “They’re terrified, quite Frankly. More
and more students are doing double majors or cramming in as many minors as they can to
equip themselves with as many skills as they can amass.” As stated, “More Americans are
tripping into the world of contract work and out of the traditional workplace. Some 42
million are freelancing, juggling part-time assignments and going from gig to gig” as
revealed on the following Marketplace website link
(http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/more-americans-shift-contract-work).
The following experts, traversing many disciplines from media to urban planning, are paving
the way for a more coherent vision and understanding of precarious media work at the
crossroads of rapidly changing labor, culture, and technology: Deuze (2007, 2008, 2009,
2010, 2011); Deuze, Elefante & Steward (2010); Paterson (2001); Neff (2001, 2005); Neff,
Wissinger & Zukin (2005); Christopherson (2004, 2008); Christopherson & van Jaarsveld
(2005); Christopherson, Garretsen & Martin (2008); Townley, Beech & McKinlay (2009);
Markusen, Wassall, DeNatale & Cohen (2008); Daniel Pink (2002); Andrew Ross (2008);
Jacoby (1998); Terry Flew (2011, Deuze); Holland Wilde; Rosalind Gill (2002, 2011 Deuze)
Chris Bilton (2011, Deuze at al.); Gordon & de Souza e Silva, (2011); Platman, (2004);
Story, Salaman & Platman (2005); Zukin, (1998); Florida (2004, 2005, 2008); and Horowitz
of the Freelancers Union.
The Precarious Media Worker
The irony is that for the average media worker the decreased wages coupled with tight
budgets and compressed deadlines makes making a living more difficult; while cities are
embracing creative folks as strategies for recovery and to lure filmmakers (Christopherson
& Richtor, 2010; Christopherson, 2002; Florida, 2008; 2009). Many freelancers, including
those involved with this project, discuss the precarious underpinnings of not knowing the
how, where and when of your next gig makes for a life of precarity that has been the
subject of academic examination. Mark Deuze, a professor at Indiana University, in “Media
Work and The Recession” attributes this precarity to changing ownership structures,
fragmentation of audiences, new media technology trends changing the culture of
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