The future of journalism?

I think I might be in the wrong business.

Last week I was approached by a charming young lady from the Guardian, asking me to write an article about the Languedoc (the region where our house is in the south of France). “We can’t pay you,” she explained. “But we can plug your blog or book or whatever.”

This is not some student rag we’re talking about, or a charity magazine or even a little-known website. This is one of the UK’s leading daily newspapers. And a broadsheet at that. What is going on?And where does it end? What happens if you don’t happen to be a desperate novelist with a book to plug? Do you just write the article anyway for the thrill of seeing your name in print? And where does it end? Are we soon going to have to pay newspapers to print our stories? Are we going to have to pay publishers to publish our books? And reluctant readers to buy them?

Is this the future of journalism? Oh, well, if I can get my blog plugged I might at least stand a chance of making some money…..

Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2011

7 thoughts on “The future of journalism?

  1. I guess its like guaranteed pr, assuming they dont edit your article first but still sounds bloody cheeky! The problem is, anyone reading it is going to assume you were asked because you have a new book out, just like celebs suddenly being interviewed ahead of a film release… perhaps you should consider yourself a celeb and go with the flow?! x

  2. This is what you`ll tell her:
    “Listen young lady, don`you know who I am? Would YOU do YOUR work for free?”

    That`s it, how do they dare.. was it really The Guardian?
    And not a local newspaper from Northumberland?

    On the other hand, there might be lots on Love in a Warm Climate in Languedoc area going on.

  3. No, you are a gate jumper. You set your own rules. You can take your book straight to Kindle or any other e-readers, skip the publication process. You promote your blog and your books using social media. Do you have a Facebook? Twitter account to promote your blog? I just put your blog on my RSS stream and it is “untitled” – No Helena Frith Powell! So please go fix that for starters. Marketing is so rich these days, you don’t need a PR person or any ads… read “Trust Agents” by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. You have a lot of talent– go jump some gates! You can do it!

  4. Up at the top of your blog in the URL link box, there is an orange symbol that has a little white dot on the bottom left and a rainbow type stripes above the dot in the orange box. That is used to subscribe to your page. When you click on it, you can subscribe to your blog by using a Google Reader if you have a gmail account. That is what I did. Unfortunately when it comes up in my reader it is not named, and it just says “Untitled”. I think WordPress would be able to help you figure this out through their help desk perhaps?

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