At the very least, delete the list of offices from your e-mail signature before you ask.

In the 13 months since the first apparent evidence of Islamic State antiquities trafficking emerged (though that data has still not been published and verified), media organisations alone have used my work in at least ninety reports on that and other subjects.1 And they’re just the ones that have credited me.

Those ninety reports, by organisations around the world, found value in the work that I had been able to do from a village in England on an income of less than €4,000 (over those 13 months, not each month). Imagine how much more I could have achieved – how much more they could have reported – if any of them had paid me.

If you are a media organisation with offices in expensive cities spanning six continents, please don’t plead poverty and apologise that you are not able to “support” the work that you have contacted me to ask me to do. At the very least, delete the list of offices from your e-mail signature before you ask.

1. I’ve excluded syndicated copies and news outlets in developing countries as well as non-commercial organisations such as state agencies and NGOs.

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