I love it, a lefty on a lefty blog beating up on a union trying to get its people paid.
We all know about the HuffPo sale to AOL and the fact that it turned out Arianna wasn’t paying her people. Since then the Newspaper Writer’s Guild, of which I am not a member, has called for a digital picket line around the Huffington Post until such time as sweet Arianna shares some of her millions with the content producers who got her there.
Well, one of her bloggers is firing back, saying the union is out of step and it’s not money we get paid with.
Among other little nuggets Tom Hayes says:
Attention is cash. The Huffington Post took the risk to amass an enormous online footprint which benefits all those who write for it in the new currency of the times: attention.
As for the union, it needs to understand what little leverage it has anymore. Yes, the unblinking media beast must be fed, but there is no scarcity of content–no dearth of talented writers — willing to storm the breach. The Newspaper Guild — as an institution — is making itself look out of step and irrelevant by calling for an action it can’t explain, never mind enforce. Asking hustling journalists to sit it out on the sidelines while the world marches by is no way to be in the new news business.
I love the double standard here. They love unions and everyone should be in one, until the unions ask THEM to abide by union rules. I’ll keep watching with popcorn in hand, this should be fun…