Thoughtful post today about the newspaper industry on the New York Times’s Outposts blog. In the wake of “perhaps the bloodiest week yet of a year where many papers are fighting for their lives,” Timothy Egan notes that, be it in print or online, more people are reading newspaper content than ever before. Why, then, are newspapers finding it so hard to keep up with their online competitors? Parts of Egan’s post are inexact, and parts are overwrought, but he does raise several valid points. Like this one:
And just how much do most contributors at the The Huffington Post make? Nothing! “Not our financial model,” as the co-founder, Ken Lerer famously said. From low pay to no pay — the New Journalism at a place that calls itself an Internet newspaper.
Yes, the Brentwood bold-face types who grace HuffPo’s home page can afford to work for free, but it’s un-American, to say the least.
Long ago, I was a member of the steelworkers union, and also a longshoreman. If any of those guys on the docks heard that I was now part of a profession that asked people to labor for nothing, they’d laugh in their lunch buckets — then probably shut The Huffington Post down. Doesn’t the “progressive” agenda, much touted on their pages, include a living wage?