True/Slant has made a ‘soft launch’ as an ‘original content news network’. Or the best way we’ve come up with to further stalk Matt Taibbi. Or former LAT editor Matt Welch. We love how True/Slant has so many working journalists – working more. Innovative.
The journalists are paid a small amount, but the plan is to turn them into minipublishers under the True/Slant umbrella. They will be offered a share of the advertising and sponsorship revenues their individual pages generate and, in some cases, equity in True/Slant, which is backed by venture capital.
These contributors are allowed to keep writing elsewhere, either online or in traditional media, and even to promote these outside efforts on True/Slant. But they are expected to post original commentary and analysis to True/Slant. They also are allowed to arrange for their own advertising or sponsorships, in addition to what True/Slant can sell, and even, in some cases, to add other authors to their pages.
In another unusual move, the contributors also are required to actively engage with readers on the site. They must post a minimum number of comments in reader discussions about their articles and curate the comments, giving prominence to the most interesting. They are even expected to comment on each other’s posts.
Journos forced to be social? Eegads – what a horrible future we live in.