Entertainment Weekly Beta-Testing an Old Concept: Unpaid Contributors

They are just three little words. But the media community shudder that goes along with community.ew.com is much larger.

Per Lucia Moses at DigiDay, the once-venerable pop culture king of newsstands and weekly subscriptions is formally stooping to the level of unpaid contributors. Complete with double-speak or maybe even, in this case, triple:

“The expansion here hopefully allows us to tap into new audiences who are increasingly having conversations in fragmented locations,” said Liz White, general manager of EW.com and people.com.

Translation: White and her bosses are hoping that the dilution will allow EW to tap into a better spreadsheet and less NYC HQ fragmentation. As Moses notes, this is the first contributor network dropped into a Time Inc. property. It won’t, sadly and most likely, be the last.

Earlier this week, People announced that it was adding a WhoSay celebrity photos feed to its site. EW.com editor Matt Bean told Moses that “some bloggers” on The Community will be paid.