Below is the full post of an article from Bill Lasarow, Publisher and Co-Editor from ArtSenecal. This is an update of what has happened since they announced the strike against Huffington Post. Please spread the word through your blogs and websites and Facebook! Here is the link to the original article.
Working for free is an issue in the creative community and I do believe that showing solidarity with the writers and bloggers is the right thing to do. While there is no law that prohibits people from working for free or gets them paid when the owner cashes out, it is clear that Arianna Huffington had primarily her own interests in mind. You may know that I sold a company and all my staff got a slice of the action. I know a few people who sold their companies and some share their good fortune and others just don’t. It is good form, they helped to get you there in the first place.
What I found interesting is that nobody in this transaction had the brains to think about how the writers and bloggers would feel if they realize that Huffington made a fortune on their hard labor and they got – nothing. Obviously any contributor would stop working for free if he or she realizes that there is no greater good but only the owners personal interests. What are your thoughts to the subject? It makes me pretty upset.
UPDATE: VAS/ArtScene and the Huffington Post
Dust-Up Receiving International Attention
Visual Art Source / firstname.lastname@example.org
ArtScene / email@example.com
Last week we shared with all of you our declaration of a strike against the Huffington Post by our collected writers and editors. Many of you responded with encouragement, which we are grateful for; a few of you with criticism, the barbs of which we are happy to hear and reflect on.
Here’s a brief update on this past week. We’ve provoked way more reaction than I anticipated, including a good deal of media coverage. The links below are actually very selective; only stories that provide real journalistic perspectives, or considered commentary.
The LA Times responded with a phone interview and article posting within two hours of the original posting. By Thursday Ms. Huffington was asked about this action at the Paid Content conference in New York and gave a hostile and dismissive response (see the fifth article link below). Not to go into the “whys” of it, but I could hardly have scripted a better response outside of her saying the opposite, that she would love to discuss the matter with us. That is the response we would really like to elicit.
As matters stand, however, Ms. Huffington has declared that while she publicly espouses great progressive causes, the very principles that she articulates so well should not apply to her. We beg to differ.
The Guardian of London invited me to run an Op-ed piece (see the first article link; paid by the way) in response, an opportunity I accepted.
We’ve started a few new steps for the upcoming week, we’ll see how they move this action along (if at all). I did not start this believing anything particularly noteworthy would come of it beyond simply distributing our statement of principle on behalf of our writers and editors. We may have an opportunity to do more.
One thing we are starting to do is gather contact information to reach out to as many current Huffington Post bloggers as possible. Please forward names and emails of anyone you know in this area; if you are a current HP contributor and/or want to join in on this, or have already, please let us know.
– Bill Lasarow
Publisher and Co-Editor
Here are selected links to stories:
The Guardian of London asked me to contribute the following Op-ed:
The L.A. Times’ David Ng bylines the following story on the HuffPost strike action:
A second LA Times piece:
A piece by Tim Kenneally at The Wrap:
Ms. Huffington provided an initial response at a conference in NYC when asked about it there. Here is another article in The Wrap, this by Dylan Stableford–
The Atlantic’s Erik Harden wrote this reaction–
Art for a Change is produced by LA artist and commentator Mark Vallen; a genuinely thoughtful piece that considers the broader political landscape:
– Bill Lasarow
Publisher and Co-Editor