Newspaper Guild-CWA advocating on behalf of unpaid HuffPo writers
Poynter.org has posted a press release from the Newspaper Guild-CWA in which it asks writers who contribute work to the Huffington Post for free to cease doing so until the company agrees to start compensating them.
The Guild’s request follows the Huffington’s Post‘s recent $350 million buyout by AOL, and it’s not the first call for change. They are joining forces with Visual Arts Source, a publication that is representing 50 writers who are refusing to contribute free content the site. The group is complaining about more than the lack of compensation. One writer quoted in the release is upset that HuffPo runs “real journalism side-by-side with advertorial” and, she says, it “cannibalizes” the content of other sites that do pay contributors.
The release goes on to say that the Guild had asked for a meeting with HuffPo officials to talk about plans to start paying its writers fairly but that has so far been ignored. It asks writers to support the campaign by taking the following steps:
● Stop providing free content to Huffington Post and let your editor know you are choosing to take this action and what your demands are if he/she would like to keep you writing for HP (see above);
● Please respond and let me know you’re on board and that we are allowed to use your name in any press materials we send out regarding this strike;
● Please pass along the names and e-mail addresses of your colleagues who contribute to the Huffington Post so that we may ask for their support;
● Send a letter to your local media op-ed section letting them know how you feel about this situation.
We’ll be following the writers’ efforts and watching (and hoping) for a reaction from HuffPo.