Posted by Laura Jordan
It’s no secret that journalists aren’t exactly rolling in the dough – but did you know that they make 42 percent less than the national average for all jobs? Add in the long hours researching and writing (not to mention rewriting!), and journalists do a lot of work for very little – especially online.
The internet is awesome. You can’t deny that. But it’s also a bit problematic. There are copyright problems, censorship issues, and now payment disputes. Yesterday, a group of bloggers filed a lawsuit against the Huffington Post and AOL (which took over the Post in February). The goal of the lawsuit? Precedent for bloggers to get paid for their work.
The union activist and former Huffington Post blogger leading the action, Jonathan Tasini has been speaking out against the Post since the AOL takeover. Now, he is calling Huffington a slavedriver. “The Huffington Post’s bloggers have essentially been turned into modern-day slaves on Arianna Huffington’s plantation,” Tasini said yesterday in a telephone press conference.
Tasini’s comments about Huffington are harsh – but does he have a point? Do journalists have a right to any value that comes from their blogs? Does this have any relation to the 2007-8 Writers Guild Strike? What does this lawsuit mean for the future of journalism, and the internet?