Huffington Post Boycott

[posted by Alice]

The National Writers Union has withdrawn from its Huffington Post boycott, which was launched in March of this year in cooperation with the Newspaper Guild.

This boycott was part of a campaign to gain compensation for bloggers who didn’t receive any of the $315 million Arianna Huffington got when she sold HuffPost to AOL in February.

So now the boycott is over. Has Huffington Post done the right thing and paid the unpaid?

Unfortunately not. But according to a letter on the Newspaper Guild site, Huffington and her staff have met with the boycotters to “discuss the need for a model that compensates journalists for their efforts.” The letter continues:

“Now that we’ve opened a dialog with HuffPost, it makes sense to us to set aside the boycott as we attempt to work together and move forward. There is no single, clear cut answer to what constitutes an acceptable unpaid op/ed piece, when casual commentary crosses the line into researched analysis, or when a discussion about ideas becomes an “assignment.” These issues will need to be monitored and reassessed continually, and we think that can best happen by building a constructive relationship with HuffPost. However you feel about the Huffington Post, they are clearly a major player in emerging models of online journalism.”

In a post on their website called “What’s Up With the Boycott of the Huffington Post?”, the National Writes Union indicates that they have also dropped the boycott but are continuing and intensifying their Pay the Writer campaign. Demands include:

–Freelance journalists working for for-profit, multi-million dollar online publications should get paid.
–If you cover the news for anybody, you should get paid.
–If you take on assignments, with an editor, you should get paid.
–Occasional contributions by writers, educators or activists who are promoting a book or a cause could be unpaid and that fact should be acknowledged at the end of the article.
–Frequent and regular contributors should be paid.