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Web spins scribes

Opportunities for writers on the 'Net, sez WGA

Professional writers looking for extra work can probably find it on the Internet, according to a study released Monday by the Writers Guild of America.

“What’s Happening on the Web? A Writer’s Perspective of an Emerging Medium” reports that much original content on the Internet is being written in news, sports, finance, health and science.

The study was conducted by Carolyn Miller and Liz Mitchell, members of the guild’s Creative Media & Technologies Committee.

Shower of showbiz content

In the realm of showbiz, “Original entertainment content on the Web has grown dramatically in recent months, largely due to the emergence of streaming video technology,” says the report, which mentions “recent convergence ventures” and the formation of entertainment-rich networks.

The report focuses on the Web’s opportunities and uses for screenwriters and on sites that use the Internet’s unique capabilities. The material “is presented distinctively, with attractive graphics, stills and increasingly, audio and video,” according to the report.

It divides the Web into categories, including original entertainment, games, sites for children, news and information, corporate, and sites aimed at particular groups of people, such as women or seniors. The report includes three pages of highlights, information about the Web as a marketplace for writers, and lists the “top 20 must-see sites” from a writer’s point of view.

Making a living online

“The time is coming when writers could make their living writing films and shows exclusively for the Web,” says WGAW president Daniel Petrie Jr. “It’s an exciting time, and one that presents the possibility of a whole new market for the work of writers.”

The guild offers a special agreement to interactive producers who want to work with professional writers represented by the guild.

Complete report can be found on the guild’s Web site, http://www.wga.org.