New journalism 3.0 – aggregation, content farms and Huffinization
Journalists in the 21st century are expected to work for different platforms, gather online information, become multi‐media professionals, and learn how to deal with amateur contributions. The business model of gathering, producing and distributing news changed rapidly. Producing content is not enough; moderation and curation are at least as important when it comes to working for digital platforms. There is a growing pressure on news organizations to produce more inexpensive content for digital platforms, resulting in new models of low‐cost or even free content production. Aggregation, either by humans or machines ‘finding’ news and re‐publishing it, is gaining importance. At so‐called ‘content farms’ freelancers, part‐timers and amateurs produce articles that are expected to end up high in web searches. Apart from this low‐pay model a no‐pay model emerged were bloggers write for no compensation at all. At the Huffington Post thousands of bloggers actually work for free. Other websites use similar models, sometimes offering writers a fixed price depending on the number of clicks a page gets. We analyse the background, the consequences for journalists and journalism and the implications for online news organizations. We investigate aggregation services and content farms and no‐pay or low‐pay news websites that mainly use bloggers for input.