After my editor passed along a New York Times article last week about a site called Scribd.com, I began to wonder about the site’s journalistic application. The site just began allowing users to charge for the content they upload — a move that could prove beneficial for journalists who are looking to make some extra cash and maintain their writing and editing skills.
I looked into this for a Poynter Online story, “Journalists Turn to Scribd.com as Profitable Publishing Platform,” which was published Tuesday:
Displaced journalists looking to make some money and keep up with their reporting and editing skills may find it tougher than usual these days to find freelance gigs.
At least some journalists, though, are finding pockets of profit elsewhere, realizing that the path to preserving their skills may not involve a news organization. One place they’re turning to is Scribd.com, a site that invites journalists to publish their work, reach new audiences and potentially profit from stories that cash-strapped news organizations might not have the resources to publish.
Just last week, the two-year-old site, which offers documents in 90 different languages, began allowing writers to charge for their content and keep 80 percent of the revenue.
Cole Louison, a researcher for GQ Magazine who has freelanced for news organizations such as The New York Times, said he started posting his work on Scribd.com after hearing too many editors tell him there wasn’t enough space for his stories.