NewsBreak Axes Creator Base Pay

Goodbye free money

SG Buckley
3 min readJul 28, 2021


NewsBreak announced today that it’s changing the way it pays content creators. In an email, it says that starting August 1 there will be no more base pay or CV rating system. (Apparently writers have been gaming the rating system to make more money.) Instead creators will earn a monthly payout based on revenue generated from published stories.

How that “monthly payout” will be calculated is only vaguely explained in new terms (posted on the NewsBreak portal), which creators are supposed to sign.

Here’s a snippet from the new terms:

Payment Details. Based on satisfying the requirements of Monetization Terms and the Program, NewsBreak shall pay you fees based on the performance of Qualifying Articles and/or Qualifying Videos* you publish on NewsBreak. You will be able to check your revenue and performance with metrics for Qualifying Articles or Qualifying Videos in your Creator Portal.

Whether NewsBreak will fiddle with its revenue formula is unclear. But assuming it’s not dramatically different from before, here’s the math for me:

So far this month, I’ve earned $200.78 cents for eight stories. Based on my CV scores, that’s $25 an article, and so $200. The revenue generated from these published stories, which on Medium earned me a reasonably good sum, have so far earned me 78 cents on NewsBreak.

Translated: Next month I’ll earn less than a buck in exchange for eight stories.

Alas, I knew it was too good to be true that I could make money by cutting and pasting — and changing the titles of — already published Medium pieces.

Then again, NewsBreak never was my natural home. It lacks the writerly camaraderie I love on Medium. And my bittersweet parenting pieces, fiction, and other random takes on life, don’t sell there.

What sells are local stories and often ones that are more junk news than journalism. Today’s top story on my NewsBreak feed from West Palm Beach, Florida is “Man Who



SG Buckley

Writer, editor, parent. Former staffer at Quartz, WSJ and Inc. magazine.