Journalism’s bailout program

I was perusing Colleen Eddy’s blog on Poynter, Colleen on Careers, and found out about the TypePad Journalist Bailout Program.

The program is for those who have been laid off recently or think they might be. It helps them develop jobs that they can hopefully financially benefit from. They will help you start the blog, promote it and enroll you in an advertising program that brings ads to your site. 

We’re offering a platform to publish your work and profit from it. A platform that gives you complete control, with no dependence on the whims of a publisher, and no interference from an outside editor. 

Your blog can act as a clip file for your best pieces, whether you’re looking for freelance work or a new full-time gig. You can link to your best past stories and even add back in those two or three grafs that your editor cut. Best of all, the first result for a Google search on your name will be an active, engaging blog, instead of a neglected LinkedIn page or a placeholder “coming soon” site or your old articles from a publisher that doesn’t even pay you anymore.

You’re in great company.

While we’re obviously having a bit of fun with the “bailout” name, this program is something we’re serious about. The dollar value for you for the TypePad subscription alone works out to over $150 a year, but we know that for a lot of working journalists, one of the biggest obstacles towards independence can be just trying to figure out where to start. Now you’ve got an answer.

The program won’t be offered forever. Interested parties have to send in their last newspaper, magazine, etc. article to a specific e-mail address and then go from there.

This is a fascinating idea. Not only does it give out-of-work journalists an incentive to write – money- it also involves them in new media. It also helps structure a financial plan for journalism.

There are naysayers, apparently. Eddy brings up a few blogs who don’t feel the program is useful, just a PR stunt.

Despite its apparent perks, some have criticized the program. MediaShift published a blog post last week quotingWired journalist Priya Ganapati, who “simply dismissed the idea as a publicity stunt to promote Six Apart’s products and advertising program.” The article also includes commentary from Henry Copeland, founder of Blogads, who says some journalists don’t adapt as well to blogging as programs like the Typepad Journalist Bailout Program seem to suggest.The New York Times provides additional context on the program in this article.

What do you think about the TypePad Journalist Bailout Program? Can it encourage journalists to want to stay in the field or is it simply one company trying to promote itself? If you were laid off, would you consider joining the program?

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Filed under From the blogosphere, New ideas, Online

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