UPDATE at the bottom
UPDATE II (June 8, 2009) — enabling the entrepreneurial journalist
Jeffrey Seglin, a professor who has written for the New York Times, makes the case that when writers write for free, they not only devalue their own work, they make it harder for others to receive compensation:
Your work has value. If you start giving it away for free, then it diminishes that value and makes it harder for others to charge for their work as well.
I think this is true. One need only spend a few moments perusing freelance writing job sites or surveying the payments correspondents are receiving from local pubs (online and print) to know just how little contributors are compensated.
Now, do I think it’s wrong for writers to contribute their work for free?
But do I agree that anyone other than a new writer looking to build a portfolio is — to use Seglin’s term — a “blockhead” if he or she writes for free?
Posted in blogging, news industry, news website, newspaper cutbacks, newspaper websites, newsroom layoffs, Online journalism
Tagged bloggers, foreign bureaus, foreign reporting, freelancers, freelancing, Jeffrey Seglin, journalists, Mainstream media, MediaShift, newspaper layoffs, Online Journalism Blog, True/Slant, unpaid contributors, writers
Jeff Jarvis often encourages his readers to think about news in the Web ecosystem as a “process,” rather than as a product. Commenting on the preview of Google Wave, Jarvis expands on that idea:
In Wave, I see more than a new generation of email cum wikis cum Twitter cum groupware. Because it can feed blog and web pages and Twitter, I see a new way to create content, collaborative and live. I see a new way to make news.
Imagine a team of reporters – together with witnesses on the scene – able to contribute photos and news to the same Wave (formerly known as a story or a page). One can write up what is known; a witness can add facts from the scene and photos; an editor or reader can ask questions. And it is all contained under a single address – a permalink for the story – that is constantly updated from a collaborative team.
Jarvis’ point about the collaborative nature of future news is echoed by Paul Gillin, writing for Newspaper Death Watch:
Posted in citizen journalism, civic journalism, crowdsourcing, investigative journalism, news industry, Online communities, Online journalism
Tagged BuzzMachine, Help Me Investigate, Jeff Jarvis, Newspaper Death Watch, Online Journalism Blog, Paul Bradshaw, Paul Gillin, The Guardian
A couple of days ago, I posted a link to Martin Langeveld’s assertion that only 3 percent of newspaper reading happens online. Dan Thornton counters with a compelling argument that the comparison between print and online readers isn’t very useful. And that the numbers Langeveld uses as the basis for his calculation may be way off:
If you’re taking shared readership of print products into account, then surely you’d also need to factor in people reading newspaper website content without ever being logged as a visitor to the site?
That includes people blocking cookies, people using RSS, people reading reposts of newspaper content (Great example of the spread of multimedia news by Martin Belam by the way), people reading content via aggregation sites and site scrapers etc, etc.
And by the time you’ve taken into account all the vagaries of print readership figures (which aren’t a bad guide to something so difficult to measure), and then taken into account the vagaries of online measurement (Less inaccurate, but still pretty fairly vague), and using data and research from 2+ years ago (But that’s probably the most recent readily available) it starts to be apparent that quoting a an exact figure is pretty irrelevant – especially when some people will undoubtedly take it as gospel.
Posted in news industry, Newspaper industry, newspaper websites, Print Journalism
Tagged Dan Thornton, Martin Langeveld, news industry, Newspaper industry, newspaper websites, Nieman Journalism Lab, Online journalism, Online Journalism Blog, Print Journalism