Getting credit for your work is important in all professions. Compliments from colleagues and hearing from others what it is you’re good at is vital to ensure you stay motivated. For writers receiving credit is of utmost importance.
There’s one way the publishing world has managed to give writer’s the credit they deserve: bylines. Bylines were something journalists and writers were aiming at. Getting your name published was an accomplishment.
Yet with the internet as an inexhaustible source bylines are no longer that important. Adding a name to an article on the internet can be done without any problems. The internet doesn’t care about an extra name. We read every article separately and thus, we can acknowledge the writer each time as well.
In printed publications this is a completely different story. Newspaper editors have to think about filling space appropriately, about not distracting the reader with a countless number of names on even the articles that only took the maker a minute or two.
There’s no more request for bylines – it’s a given – and if there still is it has greatly reduced to solely printed publications. Well, great! Right?
Not necessarily. Since anyone can share anything on the internet, everyone gets a byline. Not just for blog articles or online published news stories. Think about all those commenting and writing through the means of social media: everybody writes from their own persona and thus, everybody gets a byline.
This has resulted in a completely new problem: an overload of writers who have bylines, but still don’t get the recognition they need. Bylines aren’t what they used to be. They aren’t as valuable anymore. The fading of the scarcity of bylines may have brought writers to an even more challenging problem: an ever competing market where a newbie is likelier to drown than swim.
Think about it. When you read a news article online do you take a look at who wrote it? And if you did, do you remember the writer’s name? There’s no way to distinguish each single drop in a pool full of them.