Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hey Arianna, Can You Spare a Dime?

Guild Freelancers -- a union of independent journalists who belong to The Newspaper Guild-CWA -- has launched a campaign to encourage Arianna Huffington to direct some of the profits from AOL's purchase of the Huffington Post to the many unpaid bloggers, writers and journalists who have built the site's success.

Our Facebook page, "Hey Arianna, Can You Spare a Dime?" went live this morning.

Hey Arianna, Live Up To Your Ideals!

"Arianna, AOL gave you $315 million: We're asking you to give a little back to the unpaid writers who built the Huffington Post."

In her book "Third World America," Arianna Huffington wrote, "It's no longer an exaggeration to say that middle-class Americans are an endangered species."

Arianna Huffington
Her book takes to task the greedy tactics of rich bankers who have made it all but impossible for working people to earn a living wage in these harsh economic times.

In her book, it's clear that she envisions herself a champion of the middle class and a defender of the little guy.

We applaud Ms. Huffington's position on the working class. Which is why we feel it's so important for her to understand that the policies of her proudly progressive publication contribute to the economic woes of this nation by driving down the value of journalism.

This $315 million buyout by AOL, along with her $4 million annual salary as part of the deal, was built on the backs of hard-working writers who never saw a dime for their labor.

Many of Huffington Post's most productive contributors broke news and provided astute analysis to regular beats, allowing Huffington to avoid hiring a paid journalist for the same coverage.

We call on Ms. Huffington to live up to the ideals she so earnestly professes and share some of her profits with the people responsible for the Huffington Post's 117 million unique visitors each month.

Otherwise all her passionate words in defense of workers only ring hollow.

Sara Steffens

Staff rep, TNG/ CWA

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