As I understand the Huffington Post business model, some authors are paid but a huge majority of them get absolutely nothing more than exposure. Since Arianna Huffington sold the site for more than $300 million to AOL a few weeks ago, some of the unpaid contributors want a cut.
The writers understood the deal when they started writing and now some of them – it’s not really clear how many – don’t like the rules. From the Daily Caller today, with my emphasis in bold.
Bill Lasarow, the publisher and co-editor of Visual Art Source, told The Daily Caller in a phone interview that his organization is standing firm with its demands that the site reform its pay and content structures.
Participation in the strike has expanded beyond the membership of Visual Art Source, Lasarow told TheDC. He said that many other Huffington Post bloggers and contributors have joined.
Strike participants are demanding that the Huffington Post implement a system to pay contributors for their content, and for the site to differentiate between paid promotional content and the work of contributors. …
Mario Ruiz, the Huffington Post’s senior vice president for Media Relations, wrote in an e-mail to TheDC, “HuffPost has 148 editors, writers, and reporters on our edit team. While we pay our editors, writers, and reporters, we don’t pay for the opinion pieces submitted by our thousands of bloggers. With the exception of .0001 percent, contributors to our group blog are happy to access the platform and the huge audience it brings.”
So I guess the progressive/liberal/statist unpaid volunteer contributors at HP are trying to unionize and Huffington is telling them to bug off? She played the game – all perfectly legal – and it paid off for her big-time. If the unpaid writers couldn’t figure out others were making profits partially from their efforts … I don’t feel too bad for them.