It's a flawed business model that's been snowballing because at the moment it's a productive business model. It's going to change in less than a year, it's
just that nobody is sure how.
The issue is that something as simple and clear as page-views is not enough to measure quality, and there was a long time where people felt that it unarguably did. There has recently been an uproar stating that promotion before content is the real culprit behind major economic failures in the media industry across the board, this is what I believe these unpaid blog syndications, internships, contributions, etc. are attempting to break down before the complete digitization of print is upon us. Just as people hate getting spammed over e-mail, people hate their RSS feeds or twitter feeds or whatever aggregation companion they use for news intake being littered with nonsense, but there are filtration systems in every system being worked on every day.
Remember when half your e-mail was chain-letters and spam?
The spam is still there but it's being compacted, trashed, and hidden by software while at the same time our brains have learned to filter trash headlines.
The business model now, as terrible as it might seem, is just a stepping stone to more professional aggregation.
Without giving people with a drive to deliver content a chance to showcase their work, how will they move away from being ignored? How will they get any instruction for what works without an infrastructure?
One day these unpaid web denizens will be those that are important journalists, branders, and journalist amalgamaters, those being syndicated for free now will not be syndicated for free later, because when there truly is a move to the net for all media information, those that have both a platform for "attention" and a quality voice will make the living they're striving for... Or anyway that's what I keep telling myself.