There are those who will holler, a job is job. And in such uncertain times, we understand that those that have them, should be thankful. But that didn’t stop us from appreciating Marina Shifrin, who after dedicating two years to her job at Next Media Animation, the Taiwanese animator that makes viral videos out of news happenings, quit with a video of her own.
The video has gone viral, well, because no one can resist watching someone quit while dancing to Kanye West’s “Gone.” (One of our faves.)
In a blog post titled “Journalism is dead (to me),” Marina explains how she’s grown tired of how journalism has become about clicks over quality.
“I am not saying that all journalism is bad,” she writes. “I am saying that most popular ‘journalism’ is bad. You can’t blame the writers, though, we’re scared into it. We’re the ones writing the stories about the poor job market, we’re the ones sitting in classes that have adopted the motto, ‘Journalism is dead.’ That’s why when we find a job that remotely carries even just the slightest essence of journalism we gently bend at the waist, place our elbows upon our desk and let the Clicks have their way with our posterior.”
And then came the response from the company (reproduced in full on Gawker), proving, yes, there are two sides to every dancing coin.
Mark Simon, a commercial director at NMA acting as the company’s spokesman writes, “Marina made USD $42k per year. She had a 40 hr work week, 5 days a week… I am not spitting nastiness at Marina, but in her 9 months with us we sent her to Hong Kong twice, to Thailand for a media conference, and she just came back a month ago from two weeks in LA and NYC where she was pitching animation stories. She logged 170 hours the last 3 months in creative time working up ideas to pitch. She is a hard worker, but I cannot foresee results or always give her the best story of the day.”
Some would argue, not bad in a job market where only 43.6 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 had a full-time job in June 2013 (according to a Gallup poll). Still more, a report by the organization Generation Opportunity measured the youth jobless rate at 16.1 percent in June. And, according to a June report from Congress’ Joint Economic Committee, roughly two-thirds of college students who graduated in 2011 have debt levels reaching about 60 percent of their average annual income. Doesn’t paint the prettiest picture for Marina’s next venture.
Then there are others who will applaud Marina’s commitment to quality over quantity. We can’t say we disagree entirely (we are after all, part of that notoriously self-aggrandizing millenial crowd). Aiming higher is good choice (albeit a privileged one), and in the corporate world where quantity is often king, each kick from a lowly, dancing court jester is a noble attempt to re-balance the kingdom.
But good luck paying off those student loans.