As a capstone to my time at BYU-Idaho, where I learned and honed my skills in journalism and communication, I wanted to report on something that matters to me. I have seen first-hand the way multilevel marketing companies have impacted people I love. Their stories, which exhibit the difficult positions they’ve ended up in as a result of their participation in MLMs, inspired me to write this series.
I interviewed six individuals who have been affected by MLMs and compiled their stories into a series of five articles. They cover the subjects of sales tactics, the vulnerable positions these people are in, the MLM business model, the culture that may be found in many companies and the aftermath of participating. These articles are intended only to inform people of the potential effects of MLMs by telling real things that happened to real people, intertwined with objective sources and facts about the reality of this business format.
I chose this project and topic in an effort to exhibit my skills in interviewing, researching, writing and editing. My 50 hours included interviewing six individuals, editing the transcripts from these interviews, researching the business model of MLMs, writing the articles, copy and content editing said articles, building and designing a simple blog and publishing the articles to it. In an effort to avoid legal trouble, all company names were omitted, and companies were referred to only by what they sell.