In the Alamo Foundation case, the workers didn’t themselves feel exploited, per se, but the courts ruled that their work was unfair for other businesses competing with the foundation. Writers who contribute free content to a website may be individually happy to do so, but collectively, that work contributes to the overall trend of devaluation of writing as a skill and a profession. If the only online news sites that make money in the current publishing climate are the very ones that pay their writers the least, the danger is that this assumption that writers will never share in that success will gradually shift from a singular unfortunate trade-off to the industry norm.
The News Frontier
06:00 PM - February 10, 2011
AOL Settled with Unpaid “Volunteers” for $15 Million
Why the HuffPost bloggers won’t be so lucky, and why that matters
‘See you on the other side’ - Meet Jessica Lum, a terminally ill 25-year-old who chose to spend what little time she had practicing journalism
#Realtalk: This is the best moment to be in journalism - The old stuff isn’t coming back, but that’s okay
Streams of consciousness - Millennials expect a steady diet of quick-hit, social-media-mediated bits and bytes. What does that mean for journalism?
Sticking with the truth - How ‘balanced’ coverage helped sustain the bogus claim that childhood vaccines can cause autism
An ink-stained stretch - Can Aaron Kushner save the Orange County Register—and the newspaper industry?
Matt Yglesias watched every Star Trek movie and every episode of every TV show in the franchise
The press and Congress are asking the wrong questions
A video that appears to show Toronto’s mayor smoking crack is being shopped around by a group of Somali men involved in the drug trade
The threat of even grander leaks
HD footage from the World Trade Center’s new spire
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.