Reporters as waiters (or the joy of tipping)

By Steve Outing

We all know that journalists are poorly paid, in general, and long have been. Now with news companies laying off staff and cutting wages of those remaining, it’s even worse. That got me thinking about my last blog post about a new tipping system that allows a reader to tip a specific writer for an article. (Many other reader-contribution systems focus on how to fund an entire news organization, or parts of it, or blogs and other websites overall rather than specific articles.)

So perhaps this is a worthwhile idea for a strapped news organization. Allow readers to “tip” reporters for a specific article, and let the writer keep the money just like restaurant waiters keep their tips. If the beleaguered news industry can no longer afford to pay its journalists decently, perhaps the poor scribes should start acting like waiters and learn to accept reader cash tips.

We might want to start this at the Boston Globe, since its journalists are about to have a 23% salary cut forced upon them. … Either that or squeezed journalists can get a second job as a waiter at a nice restaurant.

(Note: Perhaps my sarcasm is too subtle here, based on some reaction received. Does this post need a sarcasm emoticon? 😉 )

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!