A top news and politics site is packaging content written by unpaid bloggers, hoping to engage its audience, give writers a platform, and make some money selling ads. No, I’m not talking about The Huffington Post. In recent weeks, The Washington Post has launched two new projects following a model closer to HuffPo — where a small number of professionals are paid to curate the work of many more unpaid writers — than its traditional print roots. In the competitive world of Washington news, it’s another example of the Post trying something new to compete with the startups that, not so long ago, weren’t viewed as much of a direct threat. […]
I spoke with the Post’s national innovations editor, Paul Volpe, about the new project. He described it in ways that have become common for the content-for-exposure model: It’s a mutually beneficial project, though no cash is exchanged; the content is already out there; readers want to see it, and the Post can bridge the audience gap in a way a local blog can’t.