Country Living Series

Friday, March 18, 2011

Um, am I missing something here?

I just learned that fifty writers for the Huffington Post are on strike because they feel it's unfair that they aren't getting paid. "The Newspaper Guild is calling on unpaid writers of the Huffington Post to withhold their work in support of a strike launched by Visual Art Source in response to the company’s practice of using unpaid labor."

Um, am I missing something here?

The Newspaper Guild, a 26,000-member-strong national union of media workers, "is committed to fair compensation for all workers, whether they are freelance bloggers or traditional employees. We are further committed to promoting quality journalism. Working for free does not benefit workers and undermines quality journalism." [Emphasis added.]

Undermines quality journalism?  What a load of hooey.  There are tens of thousands of freelance bloggers putting out astoundingly good writing.

I have no idea what the financial bottom line is for the Huffington Post any more than I have any idea what the financial bottom line is for WorldNetDaily. It's none of my business, after all. But I do know one thing: when I was offered a column with WND, the first thing - the very first thing - I was told was that it would be an unpaid opportunity. I knew that going in. It was made perfectly clear. It was no secret.

It was my choice to accept those terms. I could have said no. I could have declined the honor of a well-respected online news site giving an unknown writer a chance to air her opinions. Instead, I recognized this as the God-given opportunity it was and said YES to their terms.

But the Huffington Post writers - who presumably also knew the terms going in - are now throwing out words like "unethical" and "fair share" and "great profits." I dunno, sounds like a bunch of liberal whining to me.

Perhaps these ungrateful writers should look at the currency with which they are being paid. I've never received a dime for my WND columns, but I've received recognition as a legitimate writer, a sense of confidence in my writing, endless numbers of readers, a national/ international platform for my columns, a growing blog, the opportunity to meet (mostly through email but occasionally in person) some giants in the industry, the respect of some damn fine writers, and the chance to get my book published. Let me tell you, that beats a salary all hollow.

Meeting Joseph Farah, CEO of WorldNetDaily
Grow up, Huffington Post columnists. When you accept an opportunity, don't try to change the rules half-way through the game. If you don't like giving away your writing for free, leave and go elsewhere.

If you can.

14 comments:

  1. America…land of entitlements.

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  2. You know, considering all the recent business alliances the HP has made, this is going to happen next.....everybody wants a piece of the pie, deserving or not....

    I also spent the last decade working in a similar situation as you are, and your are absolutely correct: what comes back in return isn't always paid in money & many times money could never pay for the blessings, they're priceless.....

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  3. Huffington Post is having labor problems? Couldn't happen to a more deserving organization.

    Now they will get a taste of what state governments are facing - unrealistic demands from the unions. Maybe HP will have to contact Gov. Walker of Wisconsin for some advice.

    Anonymous Patriot
    USA

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  4. it is strange to me how people these days can not appreciate what OPPORTUNITY is all about. I have always held a certain fondness for people who gave me a chance. A foot in the door if you like. While I didn't play my hand as well as you have Patrice. I will forever be greatful to some of my first employers. P.S. loyalty is not a great career enhancer when bosses come and go.

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  5. Hmmmm.

    I'm thinkin' AP and I should mosey on over to HuffPo, sachet our gorgeous big booties across those cyber-picket lines and go to writin.'

    Liberal heads would explode, the HuffPo readers would experience a bucket-of-cold-water-in-the-face shock of exposure to reality-based thinking and common sense and we could set a precedent likely to send the lefty world into unending fits of screaming hysteria. There'd be meltdowns, confusion and conversions and just general freakin' pandemonium galore.

    We'd have so dang much fun we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves.

    Whaddaya say, Sis? Ready to rumble on over there and light up some liberal lollygaggers?

    WooooooHa! Let's hat up and ride!!

    A.McSp

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  6. i find it amusing that an extreme left leaning organization should be having these problems..it will be interesting to see how the situation plays out. whether you are paid or not, there is usually someone else who will be glad to step in and take their place..

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  7. A.McSp, do I hafta go? I'd rather be dragged behind a manure wagon than step foot inside the virtual walls of the HuffPo(no mo'). Ah, but I see there is little difference between the two, so count me in! Just give me time to pull on my muck-out boots before we go.

    -AP
    USA

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  8. Because Arianna Huffington made $315 million by selling the Puffington Host to AOL. I don't know why anyone would blog for this rag anyway, but if I was creating something for them for free and then they made millions partly off of my work, I would ask to get paid or leave.

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  9. Huff-Po just sold out for BIG money to AOL. I think those free columnists are upset that they didn't get any recognition from A-Huff when she got cut a big ol' money check. Some recognition, monetary or otherwise, was probably in order.
    I say this as a smarter business man. I'm no Huff-Po supporter.

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  10. It'll all be alright. Michael Moore has already said that rich peoples money isn't their own and it belongs to the people. I'm sure any second now he and Ms. Huffington will be throwing wads of cash in the streets in order to practice what they preach!

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  11. Yup. The Huffy Post liberals got their knickers in a bunch over the fact that Arianna isn't *spreading the wealth* around. I love AP-USA's line in the sand- Take a lot of sanitizer with ya, if ya go.

    Judy

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  12. On a side note - isn't Joseph Farrah simply gorgeous? His eyes are beautiful as is his smile.

    Not signing this one. Don't want to embarrass myself or my spouse!

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  13. YES! Joe Farrah is a handsome, handsome man! And I'll sign my name to this! lol And he's a real American treasure, in my view. He's the guy who stands up and calls a spade a spade. (And he's got good sense about the writers he publishes!)

    Well, AP and I have our hazmat suits on, our back-up respirators ready, our comm-system checked, our jumbo cans of LIB-AWAY in hand and our side-arms strapped on...prepared for a foray into a highly toxic alien environment.
    ( And for those who may be new here WE'RE KIDDING, FOLKS. It would take a case of chloroform and a heavily armed special forces unit to get us anywhere near that viper's pit of liberal phantasmagoria.)

    Gee...wouldn't it be something if these fools wound up bankrupting HuffPo and its equally disgusting sources of lefty propaganda? OOOOh that would be rich in its cosmically ironic justice, wouldn't it? I know. I know. But ya gotta admit, it's a great thought, isn't it?
    Truth is, intellectual cesspools will never want for material. If the indies "strike" and that source dries up, the obarkbark administration and its army of darkness will always pony up the $$ to pay for them to continue churning out that garbage. They think they gotta.

    A.McSp

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  14. Sorry for this old response. While I am no fan of the Huff. Po., You do you have to see it from professional writer's point of view. There are so many amateur writers being given the "opportunity" to showcase their writing for free, that the legitimate writers who do that for a living to support their family are being squeezed out of work. So many organizations are taking advantage of this pool of "free and unpaid" writing staff, that they can downsize their real and professional writing staff, those who they have to actually pay to work there. Companies are simply taking advantage of this "opportunity" for their own greed. As a professional writer myself and photographer, I have seen how all those "free" images people post on the internet are cutting into the market. It's hard to find work as a photographer. Either people have a cousin who just got an expensive DSLR who will do it for free, or if they need stock photography, they con members of Flickr to give their stuff away for free. Sure, a lot of writers and photographers are getting their "oppotunities," but when it comes time to go "pro," there will probably not be any such thing as a professional writer or photographer. Unless maybe if you're one of the top ten elite. Otherwise, there's no room in the market for you. Try to see it from these people's points of view and understand they have families to feed.

    While I'm at it, to show how bad it's become in the photography field, here's a little joke that's actually fairly true these days:

    Q. What's the difference between a large pepperoni pizza and an aspiring photographer?
    A. A large pepperoni pizza can feed a family of four.

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