“We stand squarely behind the Newspaper Guild’s mission of ensuring that media professionals receive fair compensation,” says Huffington Post spokesman Mario Ruiz in response to the union’s latest release. “However, we make a distinction between our [paid] newsroom staffers and our group bloggers – most of whom are not professional writers but come from all walks of life.” His full response is after the jump.
Huffington Post spokesman Mario Ruiz’s response to Newspaper Guild’s latest release
We stand squarely behind the Newspaper Guild’s mission of ensuring that media professionals receive fair compensation. It’s why we employ a newsroom of 160 full-time editors and reporters, 17 of whom we’ve hired since last Monday. However, we make a distinction between our newsroom staffers and our group bloggers – most of whom are not professional writers but come from all walks of life, from officeholders, students, and professionals to professors, entertainers, activists and heads of nonprofits.
The vast majority of our bloggers are thrilled to contribute. And we’re thrilled to have them. They flock to us — as well as to other unpaid group blogs across the web — to broadcast their views, not unlike writing an op-ed in a local paper. There’s no commitment; they can post as frequently or infrequently as they would like to. The Huffington Post makes no claim of ownership over their posts, and they can cross-post on other sites, including their own.
People blog on HuffPost for free for the same reason they go on cable TV shows every night for free: because they are passionate about their ideas, want them to be heard by the largest possible audience, and understand the value that that kind of visibility can bring. Our bloggers are repeatedly invited on TV to discuss their posts and have received everything from paid speech opportunities and book deals to a TV show (Greg Gutfeld claims he was offered his Fox show because of his writing on HuffPost).
Bottom line: nearly all of our bloggers are happy with the arrangement, and happy to access the platform and the huge audience it brings, without having to build, pay for or maintain that platform. Indeed, we are inundated with requests from people who want to blog. The proof is in the pudding: people are looking to join the party, not go home early.