Imagine punching in and out for time spent on researching, interviews, and writing. Now imagine making nothing or next to nothing for that time. Welcome to the minefield of freelance journalism in the age of the Internet.
Most journalism outlets use some combination of salaried, contract, freelance, intern, and sometimes what is called a “citizen journalist”, “user-generated content” or some other term that means unpaid work.
“Like many modern media outlets, we’re not completely exploiting everyone, but we are exploiting someone,” wrote Cord Jefferson in 2013 for Gawker of that publication’s practices.
At Forbes, some contributors are not paid, while others get a flat monthly fee and bonuses for good traffic. One of those contributors, Susannah Breslin, opines that her flat-fee-incentive-based work for Forbes is normal. Read more