Several weeks ago Mark and I woke up to an NPR interview with a reporter from Harper’s. The reporter had written an article about Workampers where she described us as elderly people who couldn’t afford to retire. She told about a woman she interviewed who sounded suicidal because she was so depressed about having to live in her RV and travel around looking for work. I commented on NPR’s web site asking where the reporter’s sense of adventure was.
Yesterday I received an article from my dad about working at Amazon. The reporter talked about how Amazon “exploits” their workers and described Workampers as “uniquely vulnerable Americans” and “modern day migrants who could’ve stepped right out of a Steinbeck novel or Woody Guthrie song.” That really got my ire up. “I’ll show them Grapes of Wrath,” I said.
I went into the Forum section of Workamper.com and discovered that other Workampers were talking about this latest rash of reporting and they provided links to other articles that depicted us as poor unfortunates. Workamper.com has become aware of the situation because reporters keep calling them and wanting to know about us, the down sides of workamping. The editor at Workamper News sent out a call for anyone who is willing to be interviewed by these reporters. I volunteered.
I also published the e-mail address for letters to the editor at Harpers and suggested that we inundate them with our stories. I started it out by sending mine in.
Tonight I got an e-mail from the editor of Workamper News asking if I’d be willing to talk to a reporter from Al Jazeera America. I’ve contacted the reporter and said I’d be willing to talk with her if she tells my story as I tell it and doesn’t make me out to be a poor migrant worker.
If any of you hear reports such as these, do me a favor. Call or write to the news media and complain about their biased slant. Ask them to report the truth instead of going into an interview with an agenda. And don’t believe everything you hear on the news!