Demand Media demands quality, attention with new Feature Writer role

Notorious content farmers Demand Media (read up on them here) issued a press release recently, announcing they are creating new roles for feature writers, through their “content creation studio,” that will provide content for their online properties, and These features will “incorporate original reporting, exclusive quotes, side bars, and have word counts north of 850 words.” Demand Media will pay writers $350 for such posts, according to the release.

Interestingly, this post on FishbowlLA calls the press release a “job listing.” And it is, in a way. At the end of the release, a paragraph states: “Demand Media is currently looking for feature writers with 5 to 10 years of experience writing or reporting for a major daily newspaper or equivalent experience as a regular contributor to a major magazine. Writers can apply at”

But it seems strange to us that a company would post a job listing in a press release, since the point of press releases is to draw attention, and media coverage, to an organization’s actions. And much of the release reads like an attempt on Demand Media’s part to show its concern for its writers and the quality of the content on its sites. After going on about how the company has “modernized the traditional editorial process,” the release states, explicitly, how much and even when its feature writers will be paid. Since information about how much it pays its other writers became public knowledge, the company’s move to publicize these new rates looks a lot like an attempt to repair its image.

But maybe that’s okay. If Demand Media is going to go about fixing its brand trying to distance itself from the “content farm” label by paying writers closer to what they deserve and making a big deal of it: great. Maybe other sites that notoriously underpay their writers or don’t pay them at all (*cough* Huffington Post *cough*) will pay attention to this move, and follow suit. We’d be glad to give them some attention for that.

Posted on May 10, 2011 at 12:14 pm by editor · · Tagged with: , , ,

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