Just spoke with an agency about a very, very troubling issue.  They say rough drafts are being provided without charge, if you do realtime on a case.  What!?!?!?  I don't do realtime or rough draft for free.  WHY are reporters accepting this?  Yes, times are tough, but you have to be tougher.  JUST SAY NO to this practice.  Do you like doing work for nothing? I am just disgusted by what we are not being paid for anymore.  

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People giving away services or working for less is allowed in countries that are not "free," I would imagine.  I'll-do-for-less is pretty popular worldwide.

I have no idea what you're saying! :) But it sounds like we agree that we'd prefer not to give away our services for free.

Yes, we do agree! ;)

Tricia, the realtime rate should be higher than a rough.  We can't get into specifics on rates.  The realtime feed is one service.  Almost every realtime job I've done they also order a rough draft.  The rough is a cleaner copy than the realtime feed.  Everything is defined.  There are no untranslates.  For me, all questions I may have are checked and fixed.  I also run a spellcheck.  I hate it when someone just walks away with the realtime feed.  There's always a blooper here and there that I see go by on the screen, and I don't want the clients reading that when I have a much better draft at the conclusion of the job.  

Naturally, this Tricia agrees with you 100 percent!

Some agencies I work for charge individually for the realtime and the rough draft as separate items.  Some have a higher rate for the realtime with the rough included.  I don't know what is done in your area.  You might want to check with local realtime reporters. 


"Do clients often ask for a rough in addition to the realtime feed?"

Yes, they do. IME, they most often do, in fact.

"Do I charge enough for the realtime feed that it kind of has the charge for the rough built into it?"

Yes. Or as much higher of a charge as the market will bear.

Also, no one can write right the first time certain jobs, be they superfast and/or consisting of multitudes of unfamiliar words thrown at you in a foreign accent, like dihydroxyisovalerate, etc. So as long as your tran is readable until you can global it and doesn't appear as die hide roxie eyes oh evaluator or whatever, you don't need to be perfect, IME. Good for you for taking this step.

I've stated my position on this many times.  But perhaps another issue here is that reporters who shouldn't even be attempting realtime are in the field, providing realtime, and they are only too happy to receive a small upcharge for the "privilege" of letting someone read what they're attempting to write.  The problem is that (sweeping generalization alert!) many agencies don't pay enough to attract topnotch realtimers and are therefore left with the least costly alternative, which is a nonrealtime writer trying to write realtime.  Reporters who are very, very good at what they do care about this practice of giving away the rough draft in ANY form, because they write it right the first time anyway.  Reporters who don't care about anything except a paycheck tomorrow will do anything for a buck, or for free, for that matter.  It's just one step from "Rough drafts are being provided without charge if you do realtime on a case" to, "Realtime is being provided without charge if you work on a case."  And with so many reporters being pushed into the realtime arena, it's to be expected that slick agency owners will take advantage of every gullible reporter they can get their hands on.



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