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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:22 AM
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Progessivism Has Its Price
Progessivism Has Its Price
El Pais, Spain
By Miguel Yuste
Translated By Myra Siddiqui
16 April 2011
Edited by Mark DeLucas

The Huffington Post was created six years ago as an Internet platform for spreading progressive ideas, which finally made way for the victory of Barack Obama. Thousands of bloggers up to 6,000 post their articles on that page at no cost, in what until now was a system that benefited both sides. It provided Huffington with content and the bloggers with relevance and a loudspeaker to express their opinions. Until AOL came.

The deal, reached last February, just closed. AOL, the veteran Internet firm, bought Huffington for 230 million euros. The romantic journalistic adventure has been a juicy business whose profits have gone to a few hands, especially to those of its founder, Arianna Huffington. One of those bloggers, Jonathan Tasini, writer and former Democratic candidate for senator, is now demanding his share. Tuesday he filed a lawsuit demanding a third of the sale price, or 72 million euros, for him and the rest of his colleagues

Arianna Huffington is irritated. One only has to read her commentary published on her online newspaper to see this. In addition to heaping insults on Tasini, she explains the small chance of the blogger winning the lawsuit. And perhaps she is right. It does not seem logical to now demand part of the business deal after freely accepting the gratitude of their collaborations. But perhaps the director has reasons to worry since, regardless of whether the plaintiff wins or loses, his case uncovers the weaknesses of this new journalism, which has brought notoriety to Huffington.

The publication's bloggers do not know the amount of traffic it generates and, therefore, do not know the amount of profit they make. So says Tasini. The concise writings of this medium (only 80 journalists) confirm that it's more of a content aggregator than generator, which does not match the influence it exercises. The blogs are, according to the founder, its DNA. But it does not pay royalties. One wonders whether the giant has feet of clay and whether in its sale it has or hasn't cheated both parties.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:49 AM
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1. A good writer knows the value of his or her work.
That is not necessarily measured by how much is paid for that work. The only foolish thing is writing for nothing, then expecting payment at some later date. If you expect payment for your work, arrange that in advance of handing the work over.

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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:10 AM
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2. I think a great many people will be more careful after this. nt
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:24 AM
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3. I doubt it. All those writers knew they weren't going to be paid.
Many wrote as a self-promotion, shilling their book or their own website or blog. Others wrote for vanity's sake. Still others believe that their every thought should be heard by as many as possible. Some wrote for political reasons. Some were, no doubt, paid by others to write on HuffPo.

All of those motivations are still there. Provide a popular platform for content, and you'll find writers willing to fill its pages with their words. But, offer to pay writers for their words, and you'll probably get better material. Pay enough, and the very best writers will flock to your door. Don't pay, and you'll get a weird mix of good and execrable writing, along with a healthy dose of whatever propaganda is in the air.

Huffington Post didn't pay, so they got that weird mix. Arianna, though, ended up making out like a bandit, which was her goal all along. She is a Republican, after all.
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