Aggregation, Content Farms and Huffinization: The rise of low-pay and no-pay journalism.
Bakker, P. (2012). Aggregation, Content Farms and Huffinization: The rise of low-pay and no-pay journalism. Journalism Practice 6(5-6), 627-637 DOI:10.1080/17512786.2012.667266
The business model of gathering, producing and distributing news is changing rapidly. Producing content is not enough; moderation and curation by “news workers” is at least as important. There is a growing pressure on news organizations to produce more inexpensive content for digital platforms, resulting in new models of low-cost or even free content production. Subscription, advertising revenues and non-profit funding are in many cases insufficient to sustain a mature news organization. Aggregation, either by humans or machines, is gaining importance. At “content farms” freelancers, part-timers and amateurs produce articles that are expected to end up high in Web searches. Apart from this low-pay model a no-pay model—the Huffington Post—emerged where bloggers write for no compensation at all. We analyse the background to all this, the consequences for journalists and journalism, and the implications for online news organizations. We investigate aggregation services, content farms and no-pay or low-pay news websites.