Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Bad news from Mashable, BuzzFeed, and Vice shows times are rough for ad-supported digital media
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Feb. 11, 2014, 1:27 p.m.
Reporting & Production
LINK: joel.kinja.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Justin Ellis   |   February 11, 2014

The path to enter the journalism business is changing. Some media companies are abandoning unpaid internships; others are terming them reporting fellowships.

Enter Gawker, which is adding a new metaphor to the game by creating a new “Recruits” program. Under the Recruits system, aspiring writers will get short-term contracts, a stipend, their own Kinja blog, and the potential to pull in better pay based off their traffic. Recruits recruits may eventually make their way into a regular gig with Gawker, either as a full-time staffer or as a long-term freelancer.

It’s more of a formalized farm system for Gawker, which has a history of plucking sharp writers out of the comments for a full-time gig.

Since this is Gawker, the emphasis for recruits is not just on becoming a better writer, but also mastering the economics of online media. Here’s Gawker editorial director Joel Johnson on how recruits will get paid:

Recruits will operate on a $5 eCPM — earning $5 for every 1,000 uniques they bring in each month. We will “spot” Recruits their first $1,500 a month; we’re not monsters. Recruits can post as little or as often as they’d like; determining the sweet spot will be part of their learning and tuning process. Monthly uniques over the first 300,000 ($1,500) a month will be paid out at the $5 eCPM, up to a maximum of $6,000. (An atypically aggressive bonus for Gawker, reached at just 1,250,000 uniques per month, but we want to reward initiative.)

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 45,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Bad news from Mashable, BuzzFeed, and Vice shows times are rough for ad-supported digital media
The rapid growth of Google and Facebook continues to take its toll on digital media companies.
Asking members to support its journalism (no prizes, no swag), The Guardian raises more reader revenue than ad dollars
The Guardian revamped its ask and its membership offerings — moving from 12,000 members in the beginning of 2016 to 300,000 today.
Beating the 404 death knell: Singapore news startups struggle to cover costs and find their footing
Political news reporting doesn’t seem to be holding up well as a business in the city-state. And it’s even harder when you’re seen as “alternative” media.