On a whimsical impulse, I joined Suite 101 as a freelance writer. Suite 101 is an online media which pays according to page views, and because of my low page views, I’m ranging an income of about $.10 an article. The most popular article so far was ‘The Reality of NutriSystem’.
So much for encouraging journalistic values.
I am wondering if this page view-based payment plan is the best model for online media. Although this is the same with traditional media, the most-viewed stories aren’t necessarily ones that have most value (though you may argue that value is subjective). One of the editors on Suite101 suggested on one of my articles that the lead needed to be more short and to-the-point rather than descriptive. She said that in online media, people lost interest quickly. Cutting right to the nugraf, however, I believe, destroys the composition of a good feature article. We must find a way to develop these online media without compensating good writing and reporting. It is sad to see how so little of those elements are appreciated.