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by Brian Clarey

LAND OF THE FREE

Recent developments across the media landscape give new meaning to the term “free press.”

Consider the AOL/Huffington Post merger, which is technically a buyout on the part of the old internet giant which will absorb HuffPo but, according to reports, will also be strangely consumed by it. HuffPo founder Arianna Huffington will take over the editorial voice of AOL in the coming months, which is to say that her legions of unpaid bloggers and aggressively sourced newspaper articles, sparingly linked, will be the new voice of AOL. New York Times media critic David Carr gives us a tour of the coming diaspora, where journalism becomes commodified as “content” and there lacks even a pretense of paying the people who create it a living wage. This “nation of serfs” serve media companies like Facebook, valued at $50 million; Twitter, which is worth possibly $10 million; and HuffPo, which went for $315 million to AOL, which is worth $2.2 billion. Read it all in this week’s Media Decoder column in the NYT, and then weep for the future of journalism. — BC

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