Tyler Kingkade of The Daily Dot writes about LinkedIn’s strategy of giving its premium service to journalists to help them ferret out stories.
Kingkade writes, “A few weeks ago, in June, LinkedIn revamped how it doles out that free Premium boost. Anyone who gets into the webinar is guaranteed a no-cost Premium upgrade, but it’s limited to staff reporters and full-time freelancers writing for ‘top-tier’ national, international, or ‘prominent regional’ publications. What counts as ‘top-tier’ or ‘prominent’ is unclear, but there’s no shortage of reporters at nonprofit and local news outlets who say LinkedIn told them they didn’t make the cut.
“In June, LinkedIn told AJ Vicens, who has been a staff reporter for five years at Mother Jones, a non-profit progressive magazine, that he does not qualify for a Premium upgrade, even though he’s received one multiple times in recent years.
“Jared Bennett of the Center for Public Integrity, a 30-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit investigative news organization, said he was denied with no explanation when he tried to sign up this year for the webinar. LinkedIn also denied Amanda Lien’s upgrade request last summer when she was a staff reporter for The Spirit, a weekly newspaper in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
“Microsoft-owned LinkedIn wants to make a profit and does that partly by selling special features to users who want them, such as Premium.
“But the company has also sent representatives to speak in newsrooms, on college campuses, and at journalism conferences about what reporters can do with a LinkedIn Premium account, and often talks up its intention of collaborating with newsrooms. Part of that has been through doling out Premium upgrades to journalists. With a prize like that, LinkedIn is essentially throwing a party and nearly every reporter wants an invitation to it.”
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