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Posts Tagged ‘Mathew Ingram’

Should You Write For Free? Journos Weigh In on the Thayer/Atlantic Kerfuffle

When freelance journalist Nate Thayer posted an email exchange he’d had with an editor at The Atlantic, who hoped to publish his work without compensation, he had no idea it would garner so much attention. The blog post has been viewed over 100,000 times, tweeted like mad, and has prompted a vigorous debate among journalism professionals.

Over at Reuters, Felix Salmon breaks down point-by-point where The Atlantic screwed up, while explaining why the magazine’s online freelance budget is so small as to be, at times, non-existent. It’s not that digital journalism doesn’t pay, he explains, it just rarely pays freelancers. If you want to make a living wage, you need a staff position.

Not everyone is against working for nothing. Matthew Yglesias of Slate calls it “an enormous boon to society” when people write online for free. Staffer-turned-freelancer Ann Friedman admits in her column at CJR that she occasionally writes for free, albeit only with good reasons. Those include establishing experience, raising her profile, or an opportunity to participate in something wonderful.

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Does Tweeting Make You a Journalist?

After the raid on Osama bin Laden‘s compound was live-tweeted by Sohaib Athar, there has been a raging debate as to whether or not tweeting makes one a journalist. Are prestigious degrees from journalism schools — and jobs at storied institutions — totally unnecessary? Is a twitter account and being in the right place at the right time all it takes for you to put “Journalist” on your DMV application?

SF Weekly blogger Dan Mitchell argues that Athar is not a journalist, not even a “citizen journalist” (a lesser designation). Writes Mitchell:

For the most part, Facebook and Twitter aren’t organs of journalism, rather simply organs of dissemination (both of journalism and of sentiments like: “hell naw at 2 something n the morning i was tlking to somebody dat called me private lmao i was half sleep.”)

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