Read This: Open Letters To “Content Mills”

22 Feb

Just found on the Internet:: Open letters to media job boards everywhere

Laura Roberts writes: Here is the text of an email I just sent to Media Job Search Canada, and which I have forwarded to MediaBistro. It can equally well apply to any media job boards everywhere that uphold this offensive policy of posting scam “jobs” meant to trick and/or entrap young, inexperienced writers:

“Dear Media Job Search Canada
As a hard-working freelance writer, I’d like to make a suggestion for your media job-posting site: Don’t post ads from “pay-per-click” sites like Suite101!  To me, this is not a job. It is insulting to see these types of scam ads on media-friendly, media-focused job boards, as the “pay” depends on the writer’s constantly pimping links to friends, family and random strangers. You are only “paid” when you reach a certain number of views on your articles, and for most writers on the site, places like Suite101 never pay out. Period. How do I know this? I “worked” for them, and have never received a paycheck for any of the articles I wrote for their site.

This is not a job, it is a scam. To post ads from scammers like these demeans all media job-seekers, and suggests that we are not worth paying for our efforts. We ARE worth paying, and I would really like this ad—and others like it—banned from your site.”

My fellow writers, please do not apply for these types of “jobs.” They are not jobs, they are scams. Even if you are just starting out, you are a professional writer, and professional writers deserve payment for their work. If you must write on spec or for free in order to achieve clips for your portfolio, do it for a reputable company, one whose work you have read and admire. There are plenty of great magazines that are run by unpaid volunteers, and I would much rather see my friends and fellow freelancers contributing to these types of endeavours than getting scammed by scumbags like Suite101 and their ilk.

P.S. To clarify, I do respect MediaBistro as an authority on media jobs, which is why I find it puzzling that they, too, are posting “jobs” from people like Suite101. Suite101 is perpetually “seeking writers.” Is it any wonder, given their lack of payment?  Also, if you’d like more comments/info on Suite101, WritersWeekly has a forum full of comments and complaints about them.”

Read more about this and view all the interesting comments ….

Or this one from another author:
“First, for the pitiful pay they offer, they take ALL rights: “…with Demand Media being deemed the sole author of the contribution and the owner of all rights…”  That’s right.  You write it, you sell it to them, and you earn nothing more after the initial low fee, even if they syndicate it and sell it over and over again.  They can edit it, remove your name, and more.  Theirs is a work-for-hire contract. Let me tell you folks…$5 to $20 for all rights is, in our opinion, downright insulting, especially since resources and references must be cited, a free graphic must be chosen and included….”

Or this one:
Dear Mr. XYZ Startup,
Thank you for finally getting back to me, but I can’t live on “impact” and “possibly fame,” neither of which pays any bills. It is my opinion that if you can’t afford to pay the writers who will create content for your site, you shouldn’t start a business at all on the Internet. Professional writers need to be paid a professional rate for their work, just like any other skilled profession, such as doctors or dentists.
DeAnn Rossetti
Freelance Writer/Reporter
27 years of award-winning copy





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