Money can be made, but I’ll take a pass
Many writers on Medium have branched out by contributing their work to NewsBreak. One author stated that for every penny he earned on Medium, he made a dollar on NewsBreak. I was intrigued and decided to check out the platform.
Upon first appearance, NewsBreak looked respectable. There were articles from serious national news sources such as the L.A. Times and the Associated Press, articles from local news sources I follow, along with stories from NewsBreak Contributors. Many of the articles I read were genuine news, but others were tabloid trash, and most of the work written by contributors were total nonsense: people misbehaving in church, landlords who fondle their tenets’ undergarments, and assorted family dramas.
What a disappointment! I live in Las Vegas, where there is a wealth of entertaining topics I could explore. When I googled reviews for NewsBreak, what I read shocked and disgusted me, confirming my decision to steer clear of this venue.
Five reasons I will not write for NewsBreak
- The comment sections attached to many articles are full of racist trolls and people who delight in making ignorant comments solely to rile up other readers. This is not a pool I want to swim in. I don’t want my writing associated with vile commentary that has little or nothing to do with the content I created. One article on Medium warned NewsBreak writers not to read the comments attached to their articles unless they were “thick-skinned.”
- The site is so full of ads, it is like reading the desperate blog of a person hoping to make a living off cheap ads. The proliferation of ads within articles spoils the reading experience.
- Writers are not paid for their first ten articles. Thus, you are writing on spec until NewsBreak decides that you are worthy to represent their platform, and if you are approved to be a writer on NewsBreak, you do not get back-pay for the articles you previously wrote.
- NewsBreak can throw you off their site after you get “three strikes” for breaking their laundry list of rules.
- When I signed up for the app, NewsBreak asked me to allow it to access my location. While I’m willing to provide my zip code, I don’t need an Internet site following me on my errands. It still requests “to track my activity across other companies’ apps and websites.” Hell no! The last thing I want is to be surveilled by a corporation based out of China – a nation infamous for monitoring its citizens and ranking them based on their national loyalty. It is bad enough being profiled by Facebook and Google.
To my fellow writers who are doing well on NewsBreak, I wish you well. Hopefully, the platform will treat you decently by paying you fairly and respecting your content. For myself, I would rather maintain full ownership of my content and not see nasty or racist comments attached to my work.
Conceptually, NewsBreak’s platform of providing regional news and reviews is brilliant in our world where local newspapers are going out of business. However, their application is troublesome for both readers and writers. Maybe they will make the needed improvements to their platform such as banning hate speech, paying their writers for all content that is posted on their site, and not inundating their site with ads.
Personally, I will not be waiting around to find out, as I plan to uninstall the app from my devices. NewsBreak is not worth my time. Half the articles may be worthwhile, but the other half are a cross between Facebook nonsense and the National Enquirer.
Medium may not be a perfect platform, but it is a respectable venue. While differences of opinion are accepted, blatant racism is not tolerated. There are no ads to soil the reading experience. You get what you pay for, and I would rather pay my $50 a year to interact with serious writers, rather than give away my work to a sketchy platform.