Musings on Fannish Media

I was wondering whether to write this post as it is an answer to another article that was published in Polish. Yet considering that many of my readers are from Poland I decided that it makes sense. So here it is – a couple of my thoughts.

Important Topic

First thing I need to mention is that the said text touches on a very important topic. I fully agree that some of the examples taken from the conventions’ rules were wrong. What I don’t expect is any of them coming from an ill will. I suppose those were rather an effect of inexperience or being too cautious. Nevertheless even considering lack of ill will it is good to bring up this topic. I would, however, rather approach the organizers of given event and explain them the issue. In fact I even did it regarding one of the rules laid out as an example.

Yet there is one issue. The article is long and instead of concentrating on the said problem it touches dozens of other things. Many of those are not related and just fog up the picture.

Two people smiling when posing to the picture.
Just a random picture showing that conventions are made to have fun.


So what kind of noise appeared in the said text? The main topic was how amazing Konwenty Południowe are. There was a lot of extolling. There were some numbers provided (some of them seem dubious). Author also did a bit of diminishing the role and quality of other media. Last, but not least, text suggested animosity between conventions and media dedicated to them. The article gave a strong impressions of “evil organizers” who do everything in their power to abuse the fannish media.

All those things not only fogged the picture and hid the real issue. They also made me sad and angry. As an organizer I never treated media as my enemy. I always trusted that the cooperation should be fair. As a representative of media I never felt that I am being used. Of course my blog is waaaaay smaller than Konwenty Południowe. I also publish fewer pictures and they are of lower quality. Nevertheless this is what I am doing for fun. If thanks to my pictures or con report more people hear about the event this is something that makes me happy. When Swedish natcon used a picture I made during Fantastika 2016 I was glad it was useful.

A picture of a hall taken from the top of the stairs. There is a gigantic light bulb in the middle of the hall.
This is the picture I took during Fantastika 2016 and which was used later to promote the enxt convention in the same venue.

I don’t plan to comment or dispute each of the statements that appeared in the article. Yet I want to point out a few things.


One of the things covered in the article at Konwenty Południowe was money. Author touched on a few points about it. On one hand he suggested that the organizers are using media to earn money. On the other hand he showed the costs that he and the rest o KP’s team need to bear to attend the conventions. I had the impression that there is a regret that the team cannot earn on their portal.

Regarding the first point – vast majority of conventions in Poland do not earn money. Most of them are fan-run and therefore no one is earning the money. There are exceptions to those rules. Pyrkon being the best known example as a few individuals are in employment there. Yet most of the cons I was working with didn’t even cover the cost of bringing organizers to the city where convention was held. So there is no usage of fannish media for personal or organizational gain. The media play an important role. They encourage people to join, they can create the hype, both before and after the con, and this is amazing! Yet similarly to the fannish media, organizers don’t earn money. It is worth pointing out that most cons here are run by societies and foundations. There are quite strict rules about usage of the money by such entities.

Woman posing with 'cat gloves' on her hands.
Most cons in Poland are fan run and they collaborate with other fannish entities.

The second point is something I cannot fully understand. Why complaining about the fact that engaging in one’s hobby generates the costs? This is true for almost any hobby. Some will require less and some more money. Still all of them require time, effort and money. If you want to paint you need to pay for the equipment and spend countless of hours to train yourself. If you like hiking you need to travel to places where you can do so. You also need to pay for the proper boots, trousers, backpack etc. Why attending and reviewing conventions for fun should be any different? I have no clue.

And this brings me to the last point. Earning money as professional convention journalist. As I said I got the vibe that author regrets this is not the case. Mentioning the “work they don’t get paid for” may be the reason of my impression. And I think this is what causes the frustration about the need to cover the cost of attending the con. I strongly believe that Konwenty Południowe should make a decision about their future. Do they want to stay a fannish media or become a semi-professional or even professional media outlet. If they want to stay a fannish place that is awesome. Yet then complaining about not getting paid doesn’t make sense. If there is a need and willingness for professionalisation they need to consider where the money can come from. I am 99% sure that most conventions are not having the budget to pay for a convention report. Considering this the money will have to come from the readers and from the advertisement. Whether those sources will be sufficient I don’t know.

Crowds in a big hall.
Many entities started to earn on conventions as delaers. Possibly there is such option also for the genre media portal?

The issue I see here is that the portal didn’t fully made up their mind. On one hand there is a need to be a fannish undertaking, while on the other the willingness to earn money. I think it causes the frustration that was shown in the said article.

Some Optimism for the End

Getting to an end I wanted to say that I am observing Konwenty Południowe for years. Over this period of time they improved a lot. I don’t always agree with what is written there. In fact quite often I strongly disagree but I see the effort that was made. And I think this effort paid off in number of visitors to the portal and in number of supporters on the Patronite.

Considering the above they should avoid clouding their articles with comments on unrelated topics. Should the said article be split into two separate posts it would be way better. I would still oppose many of the statements which are not true. Yet at least the main, important topic would not be buried under a pile of unnecessary remarks.

My next post will appear before the end of the month.

Content not available.
Please allow cookies by clicking Accept on the banner

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies and to our privacy policy. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.