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Young writers being used by Bleacher Report

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#1 gunnarthor

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 02:47 PM

http://deadspin.com/...over-1608499729

Interesting article. Former writer for BR says that the company didn't pay its young writers but strung them along on the hopes of a future payday while using its money to bring in "named" reporters. The writers would generate high page counts for BR and led to it being one of the largest sports site on the internet.

I have no interest in journalism (although many here do) but it's a pretty scary article about how hard it is to break into journalism and make a career out of it. And Bleacher Report (like many businesses) seems to be taking advantage of unpaid workers/interns "featured columnists".

#2 JB_Iowa

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 03:25 PM

Really interesting read that makes me glad I'm not 20-something (or a journalist).

#3 biggentleben

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 06:43 PM

I've had people ask why I write for free (mostly). For me, it's a great way to get access to people within the game that I'd not be able to have access to without the site backing me. That said, I've got a full-time job, and if something ever happened with my writing, I'd likely still have a full-time job besides the writing gig. These kids really were putting their eggs in this basket, which is partly youthful naivety, but it's also what one Baseball Prospectus writer has called "the sickness", which is such a love for the game that you're willing to work for nearly nothing (and sometimes absolutely nothing) because you get to spend more time with the game you love. While BR's site is generally crap and their slideshows make me cringe, having your name now attached to BR when you go to apply for the Star Tribune or Atlanta Journal Constitution sports department is actually something of a sort of prominence, so some of these kids got exactly what they'd need in order to launch a writing career.
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#4 kab21

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 08:38 PM

just another reason to hate BR.

The problem with this situation is that to be a writer you need published work but to get published work you basically need to start for free. I have thought about doing similar work for travel sites but it's just not worth it for the additional work I would need to do. I write my personal blog and there's no pressure or conforming and it remains fun.

#5 TheLeviathan

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 08:55 PM

I assumed that since the site made you go through an obnoxious slideshow to see any content that they'd be raking more than enough ad money to pay a whole legion of interns fairly.

#6 kab21

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 12:36 AM

Why pay if you find a way not to?

Another thing I never liked about BR was the lack of consistency from article to article. There were several catchy article titles that really failed to deliver anything other than the obvious or the writing just sucked (very amateur). You get what you pay for.

#7 biggentleben

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 02:15 AM

Why pay if you find a way not to?

Another thing I never liked about BR was the lack of consistency from article to article. There were several catchy article titles that really failed to deliver anything other than the obvious or the writing just sucked (very amateur). You get what you pay for.


Hey now! I resemble that remark!!
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#8 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:06 AM

I assumed that since the site made you go through an obnoxious slideshow to see any content that they'd be raking more than enough ad money to pay a whole legion of interns fairly.


They were making an insane amount of money over there for a very long time, then the whole 300+ million Turner deal etc. But my Rocketpig is it just such crappy content.

However they weren't the only ones doing it, SB Nation, Fansided etc did the same model, at the end of the day you have a TON of kids who want to write about sports, the majority of them aren't very good, however it is possible to get paid at those places, my old college roomate is the editor over at Fansided these days and draws a salary+perks etc, however he had to work his way up the hard way for 2 years barely getting paid anything (I think a $1 per 1,000 unique visitors capped at $600 a month)

I do give a ton of credit to anyone who will write for little to no money.
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