• Coinneach mac Raibeart

    Don’t suppose there’s any chance of “Nationalist TV” (making no bones about its political leaning)?

  • Matt Quinn

    Sadly, this sounds too-like yet another nose-in-the-trough
    project that will benefit everybody and anybody EXCEPT grass-roots producers
    (and indeed the viewers) in the Edinburgh (and Glasgow) area… “
    Made In Edinburgh”… M.I.E. Shades of
    T.I.E. by the sounds of it…

    This is a commercial project – NOT a charity or a worker’s co-op or some form
    of community project… It’s not like some of the ‘RSL’ projects we saw
    in the nineties where people largely used their own resources to launch
    self-sufficient enterprises…

    – A commercial project set up to make money for whom exactly?
    The likes of Ian West? And he’s some guy from Leith or Wester Hailes is
    he? Hardly! This is an ENTIRELY commercial project being set up by some
    serious heavy-weight and cynically manipulative money men. What’s wrong
    with that? Well it doesn’t seem to want
    to stand on its own two feet for a start!

    College Interns ? You mean the
    common , but exploitative practice of getting kids to work for nothing? – For
    a multi-million pound commercial company? Not only that, the kiddies get
    to have the programme material (i.e. the I.P.) THEY produce exploited for
    profit by a commercial TV channel… What a great deal!!! You also apparently mean enlisting
    publicly-funded FE and HE colleges to provide free labour for what is a
    substantially-scaled commercial company.
    – Let’s not paint the roses red here!
    You’re selling these things as part of the business plan, and twisting
    it around to make them seem like benefits to the community!

    Having worked in TV and video programme production for over 30 years myself and
    having lectured in multimedia and TV production for over a decade (a bad habit
    I’ve now broken), I can’t express, in civil terms at least, just how
    offensive a concept that is…

    Even as a fresh out of school (and largely more of a pest than an asset)
    sixteen-year-old, my first job (at the AV Unit of Strathclyde University) paid
    me a modest wage. My employer recognising that if it invested in me I would
    invest in it… And though that was 33 years ago, I remain grateful to
    the University and my ‘gaffers’ of the day for their support, patience and
    inspiration. When I went on to train in earnest (with an ITV company) I was
    paid a living wage commensurate with my growing skills – And was also provided
    by strong pastoral support by the company. Again, my gratitude to that
    (sadly now disappeared) company is immense…

    These things though were part of the companies’ commercial function and
    responsibility. Firstly, to pay a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.
    Secondly to invest – SERIOUSLY invest – in the skills and competences that would
    be necessary to sustain the industry in the future.

    – As some ‘random’ scheemie who was born and raised in Springburn, brought up
    by a single parent and my Grandmother, and who had no other choice but to
    support myself by working FOR A LIVING I certainly could not have afforded to
    work for nothing… And had it not been for the social responsibility of
    those two organisations I would never have been able to follow the career I
    have.

    We have a serious skill shortage in this country… And part of what that is
    down to is the abdication of responsibility for investment – not sham ‘box
    ticking’ stats-pauchling, Emperor’s new
    clothes investment – but REAL honest investment in training and skills and the
    sustainability of our industries…

    That abdication takes the form of a system where spin
    dominates substance… This is ‘training’
    this isn’t ‘opportunity’… What we have
    here is a multi-million pound company which, as part of its business plan,
    wants out kids to work for it for NOTHING… Not only that, it seeks to use a publicly
    funded resource to help it generate profit…

    Having lectured in TV production for a
    decade I can tell you that much
    of the talent (the real talent that is) lies at grass-roots level. – Kids from
    the schemes and slightly older youngsters, which the system previously
    failed. Or even just kids from modest backgrounds… It is
    difficult and at time impossible for these people to support themselves through
    a basic college course. And certainly
    impossible for the majority to later work for nothing…

    So the bottom line – and the reality – is they’re often
    frozen out . Oh they may have the talent, the training the qualifications and
    the ability… As well as fresh new ideas. But you can depend on that being
    stifled and strangled by the fact they have rent to pay and mouths to feed…

    As an active professional I often encounter interns from other companies. Typically
    from well-heeled families; or at least those affluent enough to support their
    offspring through an extended childhood that takes them well into their
    twenties… The practice freezes out most of Scotland’s (and the UK’s) real talent.

    What’s more; it KILLLING competence…

    I watch daily the painfully amateurish and increasingly incompetent output from
    many so-called ‘broadcasters’… A sign of the rot that has set in as the
    media yet again becomes dominated by the ‘Rupert and Antonia’ types of this
    world…

    Interns should AT LEAST get minimum wage. -I’ve encountered situations where I’ve seen
    interns actually pay company expenses (A young chap paying for the premium
    Vimeo account for a film festival springs to mind) from their own resources…
    Others where kids are doing 12 hour shifts at McDonalds, sleeping for a couple
    of hours going off to do six hours at a shoot for nothing!!!

    The sooner unpaid internships are made illegal the better… And riddled with stuffed shirts and jorrie
    mooths as they are these days, I sincerely hope the STV bid wins!!