ESPN shouldn't use their monopoly to take advantage of students

Image via Wikipedia ESPN has got me riled up. They actually want college journalists to work for them for free. It's not only outrageous, but down right dirty.

heads up: this is a pretty old post, it may be outdated. has me angrier than right now. They've sent an email to the sports department at The Daily Orange asking them to contribute content to for the NCAA tournament.

I'll go ahead and quote portions of their email in two quotes. I'll break in between for analysis.

Here’s what we’re interested in:

  • Cross post opinion and campus reaction/color during the NCAA Tournament in the ESPN profile space (description below). Could start with Final 4 picks.
  • Send an e-mail to me and _removed for privacy _once you’ve posted
  • Include URL of the post on with brief description
  • Include any related URLs

Break: If you’ve read that carefully, you’ll see that ESPN is trying to crowdsource their reporting. They’re asking college journalists to write about the topic they know best, their campus, then package the content with a neat little bow, and send it off to them to be used…

Here’s what I can do with your content:

  • Posts considered for the P1 box below the poll on the front of
  • Best posts included in campus roundup file
  • Best posts shared with our college basketball editor

…no where important.

ESPN is asking college student to do a ton of work for no compensation. I know times are tough, but this is craziness. The NCAA tournament is a huge money maker for ESPN, and they can afford to pay for work they publish. The following is (most of) my reply to the department:

How much are they gonna pay you!?

Seriously. They're asking you to do all the work, and they get all the content for free, giving nothing to the DO or you. Not even a link? God, why?

I'd think you'd be better off writing on your resume that you wrote a kick ass blog an articles for the DO then some crap that got buried on

I'd send them an email back asking what the compensation is, and if they say, "it's a resume building experience." Tell 'em to go fuck themselves.

ESPN thinks they own the world. And just 'cause they do it doesn't mean they have to treat everyone else (even their own employees) like shit.

Man up ESPN. Do the right thing and pay for quality work.