Here is the text of an email I just sent to Media Job Search Canada, and which I have forwarded to MediaBistro. It can equally well apply to media job boards everywhere that uphold this offensive policy of posting scam “jobs” meant to trick and/or entrap young, inexperienced writers:
Dear Media Job Search Canada,
As a hard-working freelance writer, I’d like to make a suggestion for your media job-posting site: Don’t post ads from “pay-per-click” sites like Suite101!
You recently posted this ad on your site:
To me, this is not a job. It is insulting to see these types of scam ads on media-friendly, media-focused job boards, as the “pay” depends on the writer’s constantly pimping links to friends, family and random strangers. You are only “paid” when you reach a certain number of views on your articles, and for most writers on the site, places like Suite101 never pay out. Period. How do I know this? I “worked” for them, and have never received a paycheck for any of the articles I wrote for their site.
This is not a job, it is a scam. To post ads from scammers like these demeans all media job-seekers, and suggests that we are not worth paying for our efforts. We ARE worth paying, and I would really like this ad—and others like it—banned from your site.
My fellow writers, please do not apply for these types of “jobs.” They are not jobs, they are scams. Even if you are just starting out, you are a professional writer, and professional writers deserve payment for their work. If you must write on spec or for free in order to achieve clips for your portfolio, do it for a reputable company, one whose work you have read and admire. There are plenty of great magazines that are run by unpaid volunteers, and I would much rather see my friends and fellow freelancers contributing to these types of endeavours than getting scammed by scumbags like Suite101 and their ilk.
Oh, and for the record? Suite101 banned me from their site for being “too creative” with my work. If the fact that they never pay you for your work to begin with isn’t bad enough, the fact that you can’t even write something you’d be proud of should strike you as unbelievably offensive. Quite frankly, I am proud of the fact that they banned me from the site, as it only proves that they are close-minded where creativity is concerned and will never achieve anything beyond stealing writers’ works.
P.S. To clarify, I do respect MediaBistro as an authority on media jobs, which is why I find it puzzling that they, too, are posting “jobs” from people like Suite101. Suite101 is perpetually “seeking writers.” Is it any wonder, given their lack of payment? Also, if you’d like more comments/info on Suite101, WritersWeekly has a forum full of comments and complaints about them here and here.