This sort of shit makes me physically ill. From Digiday:
Time Inc.’s Entertainment Weekly is the latest publisher to take a platform turn, joining fellow Time Inc. property People and Forbes in following the Huffington Post path of opening up to outside contributors. For EW, that means a contributor network, The Community, to expand its coverage of TV and eventually other areas its staff reporters don’t cover deeply. The idea is familiar: enlist passionate experts to expand coverage — and generate audience at a low cost.
EW will be keeping costs low in the same way that Forbes and HuffPOS do: by not paying those writers. Because why on Earth should a multibillion-dollar global corporation like Time Inc. have to pay its employees? That’s an unnecessary burden on a business.
If you haven’t thrown up yet, this might make you:
“The expansion here hopefully allows us to tap into new audiences who are increasingly having conversations in fragmented locations,” said Liz White, general manager of EW.com and People.com.
Let me translate that for you: Are you running your own little blog or Twitter feed devoted to a TV show you love? Then you are taking traffic away from EW that should rightfully be theirs. You’re probably not making any money from your little blog, so why not come over to EW, give your traffic to them, and continue not making any money? It’s win-win for everyone!
In case there is any doubt that EW wants slave contributors who will come to EW with a built-in audience, there’s this from The Community’s FAQ:
Fans who signed up to write for Entertainment Weekly because they love TV, love EW, and have been blogging about TV and/or actively sharing their opinions on social networks.
And if you’re tempted to sign up with EW for the “prestige” it will give you, as Digiday puts it, consider this, from Sam Adams at Indiewire:
The overriding rationale is that these kind of foot-in-the-door gigs can “lead to something,” but that can’t happen if the jobs they’re meant to lead to keep being replaced.
Every person who takes a “job” like this in the hopes that it will lead to a paying gig absolutely makes it less likely that there will ever be a paying gig for anyone ever again. It is a sucker’s game. And as soon as you get tired of being the sucker working for free, a dozen other young idiots will step up behind you to take your place, certain that it’s gonna work out for them. It won’t.
Just say no to volunteer jobs, kids.