AOL and Huffington Post aside, who else is asking people to contribute just for the joy, nay the honor, of being featured in their publication?
Somewhat unexpectedly, the Village Voice.
Politico cartoonist Matt Wuerker wrote to Jim Romenesko:
The Village Voice devotes an entire issue to the irony of cartooning being hugely popular while cartoonists have a hard time making ends meet. Then it turns out they didn’t pay for the cartoons they used in the issue. Instead they got the cartoonists to contribute them for “exposure.” Sums up the new media economy perfectly. It’s so ironic it would make a funny cartoon.
Voice editor Tony Ortega seems to indicate that the Voice deserves some credit for, uh, not covering this up, we guess:
[W]e asked some artists to donate their work. We then felt we couldn’t do that without disclosing publicly [they weren’t paid].
Sure, it’s marginally better for the Voice to be open about the fact that it didn’t pay contributors, but Huffington Post likewise never hid the fact that many of its bloggers are unpaid. So we don’t quite see the difference. We’re all for transparency, but it’s unrelated to actually being paid for your work.