Everyone knows VICE Media. We view their content online daily, and it seems like their staff is always up on the most topical and interesting content for their readers. But how much should we really respect the site for the information they turn out? It seems like it’s about time this media outlet gets a taste of its own medicine, as it seems like there’s plenty wrong with its operations behind the scenes.
Something that is very wrong with VICE is how they treat their employees. Anyone from a writer to an editor and everyone in between is getting paid low salaries. This company is known for exposing extremely transparent articles about bold topics that many readers have never even heard of or considered before. VICE network is also known for being very hands-on in getting the full scope of events. They are willing to go anywhere and interview anyone for more information. The journalists for VICE, then, are obviously highly educated and daring enough to push the media scene. So why aren’t they getting paid?
It seems as though Shane Smith, VICE’s CEO, doesn’t value his employees like he should. While the CEO and other top members of the company are making billions of dollars, their business structure reveals a selfish and careless approach as the backbone of their company. In Hamilton Nolan’s article, one person described writing for VICE as, “the appeal is street cred, lots of free parties/booze and the hope that one earns a coveted Vice ring.” Basically, the incentive for working for vice isn’t that it is a good and stable job, but instead it’s about the image it provides and the access to parties in New York. VICE seems to be compensating their workers with the “sheer coolness” of working for the company rather than with pay. Many employees have begun complaining about their low pay seeing as they are working full time and are finding it nearly impossible to get by. With the amount of dedication and hard work that these workers flood into this company, they should be paid fairly.
This sort of business model is disappointing because it signifies how the top men in the business are taking advantage of their workers and are more so focused on the expansion of their company than the well-being of its employees. According to a former producer for VICE, the company spends thousands of dollars on drugs and booze for their parties, but can’t manage to raise his salary by a couple thousand a year. Another employee explained to Nolan that the highest paid position is under $40K a year which is hardly enough to get by in New York. Nolan explains that, “One former section editor at Vice told of near-poverty-level paychecks and long work hours in a freezing office that made her sick.”
The CEO’s should take into consideration their employee’s complaints about their salaries and find the money to compensate them fairly. Shane Smith and his partners make billions of dollars, so they can use some of that money to put back into their company. Smith describes Vice headquarters as, “his office of 425 workers ‘a sweatshop for Rastafarians’ and the culture ‘like an incestuous family.’” Since Smith talks of so much gratitude and closeness to his employees maybe he should consider putting his money where his mouth is.