The Pod People are coming! They’re here! Are you one?

OUT OF the fast-moving unpredictable world of new media has comes podcasting, and an appeal for any information on podcasting Rates for the Job.

Podcasting is the latest new format we have to start learning about. It's the distribution over the Internet of news and comment, mostly audio but with some video. It uses RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication). Users normally download the audio files onto a "pod", an iPod or MP3 player, so that they can listen to the files  jogging, or during their commute to work on a bus or a train that's too crowded for them even to open a newspaper.

Newspaper websites increasingly have a downloadable podcast audio file of the author reading out their written content. Ricky Gervais was recently commissioned to do a series of podcasts for Guardian Unlimited, which attracted half a million downloads. Some publishers are using podcasts to generate extra publicity and to add value to advertising on websites - while often trying to avoid paying journalists anything extra for their extra spoken word work.

We are gathering rates for podcasting on the London Freelance Branch Rates For the Job service. Go to www.londonfreelance.org/rates/submit.php and you'll see a new category. For the moment, until it takes off into a whole new medium, the rates you send will appear under "Broadcasting, other".

We need to know how this new work is being paid for as much as what is being paid. Have you been commissioned to produce original material for podcast? Or were you asked to re-version work you did for another medium? Or just to read it out? Or did someone else read it?

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