Tuesday, July 14, 2015
According to a recent study, most local news sites make less than $50,000 a year in display advertising sales, and they are dependent on ill-paid staff or volunteers to generate and publish content. What this means is that publishers are leaning on the personal ethics of the reporters and volunteers to produce accurate and objective copy. It also means that reporters and volunteers are open to manipulation by unscrupulous operators who see local news as "pay-for-play." It is fair to say that local news jobs have never paid well. One had to scrape for a living, but the wage level of online almost certainly is lower and will remain that way until publishers make a decent level of ad dollars. It is likely that many of them never will.