Google and Facebook reap news revenues while real reporters struggle to survive
By Brenda Norrell
The Wall Street Journal is hardly the voice of the people, but it makes an important point here -- Google and Facebook are receiving most of the revenues from news these days, and reporters are receiving almost nothing.
The article does not mention the fact that reporters in Indian country are usually paying out of their own pockets to go out on news stories, and the thieves on Facebook and websites shared by Google, are making about three-fourths of the money.
Most of the news websites on Facebook are not alternative news sites at all, they are stolen news. These are operated by plagiarizers who copy and paste, or rewrite, the hard work of the real reporters struggling to survive.
For real reporters, there is the cost of travel -- cars and lodging -- along with computer, photography, cell and video equipment. All this makes it nearly impossible for most freelancers to keep going.
And in Indian country, the few remaining reporters who are present are usually freelancers, which means no expense reimbursements, no insurance, and of course, no bail money during protests.
There must be a way to turn this around, and return salaries and expenses to honest, hard working reporters.
It probably would help if readers would not share stolen rewrites and stolen photos by those who are illegally profiteering. They are seizing this content without permission, and placing it on a webpage to illegally make money off of it.
These are often obvious because the webpages are loaded with advertising, so just scroll down to the bottom and look. On Facebook, the pages say "shop now" at the top.
Many fake site use the word 'Native' or 'Indigenous,' or use progressive words like 'Free Thought,' 'Freedom,' or 'Progress.'
Clickbait and Adwords are hard to determine. These are about getting traffic to websites of stolen work. They want 'clicks' on their links, and 'likes' on Facebook.
Here's what readers can do: Before posting or sharing, message the reporters and photographers and ask them if this is their original work and if they were actually present.
Readers can carry out a web search by copying and pasting the first portion of the news story into a search, in order to see if a reputable news organization, or reporter, actually wrote the article.
Meanwhile, those brilliant new reporters and publishers can work on a means of creating the new journalism for future generations -- where news professionals can make a living and prosper for their hard work. And remember, many risk their lives to do this work.
Thanks to all of you, Brenda, Censored News.
Wall Street Journal Article
Brenda Norrell created Censored News in 2006, after being censored and terminated as a longtime staff reporter at Indian Country Today. She began her lifelong career as a reporter at the Navajo Times, during the 18 years that she lived on the Navajo Nation. As a freelancer, she worked for The Associated Press for five years, covering the Navajo Nation and federal courts, and USA Today for seven years. Since moving to the borderlands, she has traveled with the Zapatistas in Mexico numerous times, and reported from the mountains of Bolivia, and Indian lands throughout the West.
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