According to a Twitter blog by IWantMedia, Forbes magazine is now looking for bloggers to work for free. An article by Hamilton Nolan at Gawker.com, quotes a communication sent to Patrick Phillip, founder of IWantMedia, which invites him to write for them without compensation.
Forbes is quoted as saying, “Our idea is to build a group of new contributors who will each post at least once or twice weekly offering any smart take, news or analysis related to media.”
An enraged Nolan fires back, “So, you write a piece for Forbes—named after a man whose name is synonymous with wealth—and get nothing.” He then lists the rights Forbes wants for your article in exchange for the privilege of giving away your work, including world wide rights to any/all editions, advertising rights, rights to republish or syndicate, and all electronic media rights.
In most industries refusing to pay your labor force is not only unethical, it is illegal as well. In the world of blogging it seems to be considered good business practice. Thousands of articles are written by volunteer “citizen journalists” and many of these stories would never get out without the unpaid bloggers. However, clearly some commercial concerns are earning a significant amount of money from their websites and publications and can well afford to pay for content.
Forbes did forget one minor detail. With the new media so accessible these days via Twitter and social networking, exploitive offers that might formerly have been wadded up and thrown in the circular file, have a way of turning up on the net for all to see.
By Sheila Moss, NSNC WebEditor