Thursday, April 29, 2010

News Media Favorite Source: Outsource?

Hessians on the MarchImage by clairegren via Flickr reports today on a growing trend  among media outlets battered by declining ad revenues and shrinking readership--the use of stables of poorly paid freelancers to provide news content.

Companies such as Santa Monica, Calif.-based Demand Media, Associated Content in Denver, Colo., and New York-based America Online's SEED are providing articles to media giants such as Cox Newspapers, Hachette Filipacchi, and Thomson Reuters.  Freelancers from Associated Content have submitted articles to Woman's Day's Web site and the Atlanta-Constitution, while Demand Media writers regularly are featured in USA Today's Travel Tips section, according to has drawn on Associated Content for a series of articles about the economy.

Outsourcing articles previously written by staff reporters is a cost-savings measure. Associated Content, for example, can drawfrom its ranks of 350,000 writers to produce content for which the freelancers are paid anywhere from $5 to $30 per article.  Third party news writing is here to stay,which makes the devoted staff at "TUOL" uneasy and queasy.

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