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
Fox News not outraged by retailers’ War on Thanksgiving - As giant stores commercialize the last holdout, Bill O’Reilly & Co. shrug
BuzzFeed’s all-positive books section - It doesn’t make sense to pledge positivity if your aim is to provide readers with critics’ takes on new books. It makes more sense if your aim is to cultivate a thriving community.
Disappointing Deadspin - It broke the Manti Te’o story, but then stopped reporting and resumed trashing
Healthcare in Great Britain vs. healthcare in the USA: part one - A conversation with Chris Smyth, health reporter for The Times of London
Asperger’s, pedophiles, and questionable motivations - A dart to the Daily Beast, for its ill-informed speculation on Adam Lanza’s psyche
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
Immune to Upworthy headlines yet?
‘Too good to check’ used to be a warning to newspaper editors not to jump on bullshit stories. Now it’s a business model
The two civil rights leaders were radicals—and they were right
Political lessons from a lifelong political activist
Timelapse of a photo-realistic painting of the actor being done on an iPad
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.