A recent MediaBistro article illuminated one of the biggest issues plaguing journalism: the terrible pay.
Journalists are getting paid less and less (with many new writers expected to work for free), and in turn, are seeking other ways to receive the compensation they deserve (some ethical, some not so much).
Companies and corporations have begun to tap into this, thanks to the rise of content marketing and “native advertising” (aka buying a sponsored post). Because brands need to produce interesting content, and because they have the funds, they are able to recruit journalists who appreciate the better pay. Those journalists who are the most qualified are the ones who are actively looking to be rewarded for those skills, and really, who could blame them? If they get an offer from a big company to write for them, how can they turn it down?
Once we lose the experienced journalists to the companies who have the money to pay them, we end up relying on less experienced (and less ethical) ones to deliver “legit” news. Meanwhile, brands get to churn out content from the likes of Dan Lyons and Evan Hanson. Some of those seasoned veteran journalists aren’t too concerned about the state of their industry – they view it as an opportunity for younger journalists to cut their teeth. It’s an optimistic perspective, for sure. But if we want to complain about the quality of our news coverage, the age old “you get what you pay for” rings loud.
By Jacquelyn Matter