Editors invited to buy bloggers’ work

Newspaper and magazine editors can now buy UK bloggers’ posts for re-use in print, thanks to a new content brokering agency due to launch next week.

Members of ScooptWords, which is being launched by the citizen photojournalism agency Scoopt, place a button on their website indicating an article is available for re-publication. Publishers then use the service to make a transaction earning them syndication rights to re-print the post.

The move is the latest in a wave of collaborations that illustrate the increasing value of blogs to printed media. The relaunched Guardian carries a daily blog opinion round-up inside its front page, BlogBurst provides pre-approved weblog articles to US newspaper websites, Associated Press last week began showing bloggers’ commentary next to stories syndicated to its customers and the International Herald Tribune is to carry stories written by contributors to Korean citizen journalism network OhmyNews.

ScooptWords managing editor Graham Holliday said his new service differed because it would pay contributors a percentage for their writing via PayPal.

“We don’t differentiate between professional rates and blogger rates,” he told journalism.co.uk.

“We believe, if it’s good enough to print, it’s good enough to pay for. Until now, there have only really been three ways for an editor to use that content – they use it but don’t pay for it, they plagiarise it, or they approach individual bloggers and buy it or commission them to write something.

“I know of many other bloggers who have had their content copied, stolen or plagiarised so we set this up to offer a transparent – and, we think, fair – way for editors to buy content that they would like to publish.

“An editor can click the button of a member blog and buy one-time territorial rights to publish that content in full or in part in their publication. The blogger gets paid at a rate we negotiate with the editor.”

Mr Holliday, a journalist and Bloggies finalist said he had “no idea how much bloggers can make or how much editors are willing to pay” yet.

ScooptWords, which, like Scoopt, relies on assembling writers of quality content with which to lure editors, is working with contributors to bloggers network Nightcap Syndication, many of whom are already published journalists seeking commissions. The service will “actively push” members’ work to newsdesks.

Guardian Unlimited assistant editor Neil McIntosh last month advised freelance writers to demonstrate their work to editors by keeping a weblog.