Nine soon-to-be unpaid writers leave HuffPost Quebec before it launches

We bet that most everyone who writes for the Huffington Post for free doubts whether they should. Story Board readers have heard about that straight from a former HuffPost Canada writer.

At least nine writers who were to begin writing for Huffington Post Quebec after its Feb. 8 launch have considered the pros and cons of contributing for free and had a change of heart, according to a Montreal Gazette exclusive published today. The story identifies nine high-profile individuals—Amir Khadir, Steven Guilbeault, Normand Baillargeon, Françoise David, Évelyne de la Chenelière, Jean Barbe, Philippe Couillard, Bernard Drainville, and Pierre Curzi—who have severed ties with HuffPost Quebec, as well as two other prominent contributors who are “on the fence.”

News that numerous contributors to HuffPost Quebec would be unpaid generated some bad press late last year, which likely prompted the nine writers to leave. These contributors aren’t the first who’ve agreed to write for HuffPost for free and then—perhaps after recognizing their role in lining the site’s pockets—publicly decried the practice.

For his part, Huffington Post Quebec’s managing editor, Patrick White, isn’t too bothered, telling the Gazette, “There’s nothing we can do about it” and noting that the site still has 120 or so unpaid writers signed on (the site will have a grand total of seven paid staff members and 15 or so paid freelancers).

White even thinks the controversy over unpaid writers will help boost the site’s profile in Quebec: “A lot of other bloggers came to see us because of that, journalists came to work for us because of that and at the end of the day it was a positive for us, because the Huffington brand is much better known now and less obscure.”


Still, we have to hope that the stand these nine Quebec writers are taking will inspire a few freelancers to buck up and demand pay for their work. Or, as Mike Monteiro would have them say, “F*ck you. Pay me.”

Read the full story here.

Posted on January 31, 2012 at 8:47 pm by editor · · Tagged with: , , , , ,

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