Writing for nothing

A journalism website pointed me to this advertisement seeking rural writers and artists:

The Rural Logo
Organisation/person name: 

The Rural

Work type: 


Work classification: 

Writer – Feature Writer

Job description: 

From gumboots to growing veg, The Rural is the lifestyle website for New Zealand’s rural community. 

Going live next month, we are looking for writers to regularly submit articles for features and to respond to news events.

Example topics: Farming, equine, hunting, fishing, DIY, recipes, sustainable living, organic farming, home grown food, pets.

We are also interested in talking to photographers wanting to submit their photos for use, and to illustrators interested in creating funny cartoons about NZ’s rural life.

All of which sounds interesting until you get to this:

These are unpaid positions, perfect for those looking to build up a portfolio.

Samuel Johnson said  no man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.

The world has many blockheads and if some of them choose to contribute to the website, they are free to do so.

Some may find the thrill of their words in print is sufficient reward.

But let’s not confuse writing for fun with a job, especially if other people are making money from the site because of the contributions of the unpaid scribes and photographers.

2 Responses to Writing for nothing

  1. Rob Hosking says:

    This outfit did the same last year calling for writers for something called a ‘male lifestyle website’ which somehow sounds dodgy even before the ‘hey wow, come work for us for free’ pitch. http://www.thebigidea.co.nz/work/jobs-opportunities/writing-publishing/journalism/120481-male-lifestyle-website-writers


  2. Viv says:

    But the National government thinks its OK for unpaid volunteers to do the work of the Dept of Conservation.


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