We've Created A Monster
Kudos Zuri. I had a very similar situation happening to me at the start of my career. Since then, I took a vow to never take advantage of people, have any sort of paid internship, and exploit people trying to get into an industry where "fulfilling a passion" can be a substitute to free labor.
A little while ago I was accepted onto a 'Fellowship' that turned out to be a very expensive online class, to the tune of $2000. Even on low income etc they'd only give me 50% off, which I could absolutely not afford. When I challenged that the word 'Fellowship' usually denotes a spot at an academic institution that is in fact paid, and not paid for, they said nothing. This was with some kind of Silicon Valley start-up, marketing itself as a virtual Stanford alumni association but without any academic legitimacy. I'm sure it'll provide useful insights and a great networking opportunity, which is why I applied, but to turn around and ask people who are trying to get a foot in the industry to pay thousands for some masterclass type advice and an off brand LinkedIn website..... 🙄🙄🙄
Love this. For some reason, you see this issue so clearly. I wonder why others don’t.
Be sure to update this info here and on Twitter saying Laura Joyce Davis has switched out of ‘kasama’ ‘kasama labs’ ‘labs weekender’ training names/LLCs since you released this article, and has now rebranded as ‘narrative podcasts’ ‘labs,’ and narrativepodcasts.com
This is a very unfair assessment of who Laura Davis is and what she and her training program is about.
As a producer in the industry I can tell you that getting your foot in the door is incredibly difficult without a journalism degree or any credits to your name. For an industry where there is no defined path and few, if any, courses at Universities or institutions with official accreditations, it is nigh on impossible to break in. Anyone who wants to break in, needs to search out their own education.
The training program offers an opportunity to work on an episode with these award winning podcasters and seasons writers, but only if you choose to, in order to gain some experience and credits and build your portfolio of work. I'm fairly certain the likes of NPR and Pineapple don't offer that to its interns. The $4k price tag is steep, but there are payment plans available and many people change careers and take self-development classes, and they have made just the training available with a weekly mentor class with Nate and Laura. For the record there are MANY "coaching" programs out there WITHOUT offering credits, or hands on work for much higher price tags and no lower tiered options.
As to the course itself, it's a broad reaching and comprehensive program covering all aspects of producing and hosting a show, with practical training, examples, audio teachings and a few students discounts for editing suites, recording equipment. All in one place, without having to wait for the likes of AIR or Transom to come out with a module on a particular thing. AIR and Transom's modules can be about $500 sometimes more for one particular area of training, and they are great trainings. Why shouldn't a full training of the A-Z of podcasting cost more than that?
While I appreciate your desire to root out unfairness in the industry, I find it ironic and disappointing that you, a woman in an industry with so few women, should choose to go after and take down another woman in this manner.
Such a good piece, thank you so much. Of course, this happens in just about every industry these days, including the arts sector, but it's never ok. Not Ever!