How do laid-off journalists survive?

New York Times op-ed contributor Sheelah Kolhatkar uses laid-off magazine writer Paul Smalera to illustrate the life of today’s Internet freelancers, many of whom are now lucky to make half what they previously earned on staff.

Since Smalera lost his job when Conde Nast’s Portfolio closed, he has survived (without health insurance) by writing articles for online publications and by subcontracting to provide online promotion. Kolhatkar compares displaced journalists who are now struggling to build a career online to the monks who kept writing alive during the Dark Ages.

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