On of the often told lies of the heritage media luddites is that there is no future or job opportunities in new media for journalists being laid off from newspapers and the like.
Yeah, about that: AOL hired 3150 writers in 2009, of which 150 were full time writers, and a staggering 3,000 were freelancers.
The figures come from the President of AOL Media, Bill Wilson in an interview with Media Bistro: “We’ve hired over 150 journalists through the year, just this year, and so we continue to see that accelerating. And our freelancers have gone from 500 at the beginning of the year to 3,500, so expect that to continue, as well.”
It gets better, because Wilson also points out how AOL is picking up A grade journalists as well
“…. a significant influx of talent — you know, A+ names, A+ credentials. And what’s interesting [is] it’s been a domino effect. In January, we hired three or four world-class writers in the sports arena: Jay Mariotti, Greg Couch, Lisa Olson. And then all of the sudden the calls started coming to us, where their friends heard about their experience, the fact that they had a platform to connect directly to consumers, and that was a snowball.”
The full interview at Media Bistro here, including a discussion on the things AOL has done right and wrong in the past.