Tight club

May 24, 2012

I congratulate the academic who managed to wring £50 from the BBC for her work ("Auntie exploitation", Letters, 10 May). I recently volunteered to participate in a public event for BBC Learning, tied in to a new BBC Two history series. From experience, I didn't expect payment, but nor did I expect to end up out of pocket.

Attendance at a lunchtime pre-event meeting saw recompense in the form of one cup of tea - no travel expenses, no lunch. "Sorry, the budget is very tight, you'll understand that we can't pay you anything. But what will you be bringing to the event? Artefacts, documents, banners, displays, perhaps?" And the latest request: "Do you have public liability insurance? Sorry to ask, with the thousands of people we are expecting, we have to meet our legal requirements for health and safety."

Academics not valued? Exploited, I would say - but only for as long as we continue to play ball with "Auntie".

Name and address withheld

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