Earlier Guido pointed out the Guardian’s hypocrisy in criticising the Tab for using unpaid student writers, when they do the exact same thing. The Tab has asked the Guardian’s press office how many student writers they have on their ‘Blogging Students’ site. The response is sensational.
A Guardian News & Media spokesman said:
“Blogging Students is part of our established Guardian Students network with over 13,000 members. As active members of the community, students are invited to share their experiences through blogging. The guidelines about how to pitch work for Blogging Students outline that these blogs are not paid. Some of our best bloggers have been commissioned to write paid pieces.”
So the Guardian has a potential total of over 13,000 unpaid student bloggers. That is more than four times the number who wrote for the Tab last year. The most successful Guardian student bloggers get paid, as do the Tab’s, but most do not. Amusing that the Guardian would accuse the Tab of “exploitation” when they do the same thing with four times as many students…
The Guardian has executed a drive-by shooting on The Tab, the popular student news site which has successfully disrupted the old student media establishment. Headlined “The Tab picks up business without paying”, the hit piece accuses the site of “exploitation” because some student contributors are unpaid. The Guardian article’s pay-off line implies the Tab is “starting to look like” a “bullsh*t company who are trying to f*ck [young people] over”. Miaow!
Five days ago the Guardian updated its own “editorial experience” page for young writers. It “offers a limited number of short editorial experience opportunities throughout the year to those dedicated to a career in journalism”, and includes real work writing stories, “getting involved in editorial activities”. Applicants are told: “These placements at the Guardian and Observer are unpaid”.
The Guardian’s double standards are all the more bizarre since student contributors to the Tab do not expect to be paid. The Tab’s executive editor Joshi Herrmann cuttingly replies: “I think we’re one of the few media groups at the moment that’s employing people, not laying people off”. The Tab last night asked the Guardian’s press office how many unpaid interns they use a year. They have yet to receive a response…
UPDATE: Read the spectacular update on MediaGuido here.