Open Source Journalism Or Recruiting Free Writers?

from the not-quite dept

The rise of so-called “open source journalism” has been interesting. From the rise of OhMyNews to the small town experimental Northwest Voice in the US, the idea of “citizen reporters” has been getting more attention. E-Media Tidbits is now pointing to yet another example of such a site, though, it will still have editors who pick which stories are approved — which begins to sound not so “open source” after all. In fact, at some point you have to wonder what the borderline is between “citizen reporting” and “getting people to write for you for free.” The way the internet is these days it’s pretty easy for anyone to put stuff up on their own site — limiting the reasons for why people might contribute to such a site. Obviously, sites like these bring in the audience as well as handling all the backend issues, but it seems that part of the hype around all this is just about finding cheap or free labor. Of course, some would claim that certain open source projects are like that as well — and that it lets certain people show off their abilities which they can then use elsewhere.

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Comments on “Open Source Journalism Or Recruiting Free Writers?”

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Mark Gisleson (user link) says:

same old same old

Writers have always fought to be published, and most work for free for quite a while before ever seeing any money ? pretty much just like musicians.

When I started up Twin Cities Babelogue at City Pages, the incongruency of having paid journalists blogging alongside unpaid pure bloggers disappeared pretty quickly. For the most part, the paid writers didn’t enjoy what they considered to be “extra writing for free.” A few of them got it and get respectable numbers but most just didn’t understand that the more well known a writer’s name is, the more valuable that brand becomes.

It’s not the greatest system, but this new wrinkle is just a direct continuation of the old system.

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