Chronicle Replaces Paid Journalists With Unpaid 'Luminaries' -- and Craig From Craigslist Posts a Picture of a Bird
|"Hey, I really want to know what Craig Newmark thinks. Oh. A bird." (Actually, this photo is a lot better than Craig's)|
Playing up the implementation of the unpaid "luminaries" on the very day many of the paper's most veteran staffers were walking out the door for the last time was a particularly leaden touch.
It was also a bit lacking to leave it to "luminary" Peter Y. Sussman to be the one to explain that the paper's special panel of citizen journalists is not getting paid. Sussman is a former 29-year staffer at the Chronicle; his initial post -- in which he compares himself to a scab worker -- is intelligent and well-crafted. But you'd expect this; Sussman is a former standout writer and editor and the Chron is booting out plenty of smart and competent journalists these days. If the paper hopes to create a successful business model based around discharging the lot and impressing them into blogging for free, that might work -- but for that blasted 14th Amendment!
The other "luminaries" write posts of varying worth. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark notes that he's "not so good" a blogger in his first entry (hey, he said it) and goes a long way toward proving this point by merely posting a photo of a bird in his third. What, no cats or desserts or Italian coffee drinks to show us? (Honestly, I am interested in what Newmark thinks -- so this was disappointing).
Newmark may know what it takes to kill the Chron, but saving it is a more difficult procedure. By the way, I prefer my my ornithological blog snapshots from here: SFCitizen. It's not going to save the Chronicle, but they're damn good photos of birds.
NOTE: Having now been directed to Newmark's bird photography site, I'm even more confused. Lots of these shots are really good! Why not use one of them?
Photo | Noël Zia Lee