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
16 women whose digital startups deserve Vox-level plaudits - A look at the media entrepreneurs who aren’t grabbing headlines
Why was ‘Dasani’ shut out of the Pulitzers? - 5 problems with The New York Times’ ambitious, influential series on the life of one homeless Brooklyn girl
The AP downplays its Obamacare scoop - Repeal on deductible caps marks another step in The Great Cost Shift
The enduring pull of mag covers - Why do magazine cover images still hold so much cultural power in this decline-of-print era?
Michael Wolff’s digital media bloopers - The Newser founder trolls (other) digital-news companies
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
Great data viz from Bloomberg View
How did the clothes you’re wearing get to you? We trace the human cost of the Bangladeshi garment industry in video, words and pictures
Fantastic letter in The Times
How do you tell your family and friends?
Despite the bridge scandal, Chris Christie’s state is relatively transparent and accountable. CJR’s Greg Marx talks to Gordon Witkin
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.