A strike called by unpaid Huffington Post contributors received a major boost Wednesday with a call to arms released by the national Newspaper Guild.
The Daily Caller, the industry association called on contributors not currently on strike to cease contributions and asked members to help by “shining a light on the unprofessional and unethical practices of this company.”
The Newspaper Guild boasts 26,000 members and is affiliated with the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The CWA is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.
The strike was called earlier this year by the membership of Visual Art Source, whose 50 members had previously contributed content for free to the site.
“Just as we would ask writers to stand fast and not cross a physical picket line, we ask that they honor this electronic picket line,” wrote the Guild.
“This is about supporting the quality and integrity of a vehicle for progressive expression, to actually help Huffington Post succeed, but on the right terms,” wrote the Guild. “We call on Arianna Huffington to demonstrate her commitment to the working class she so ardently champions in her writing.”
Mario Ruiz, the Huffington Post’s senior vice president for media relations, responded to the Guild’s statement by providing to The Daily Caller a previous e-mail response to Newspaper Guild President Bernie Lunzer.
Ruiz’s February 20 e-mail addressed a post on the Newspaper Guild’s website titled “Arianna got millions, all we got was a byline.” The post called on Arianna Huffington “to invest in quality journalism by sharing a portion of this fortune with the people who made her successful.” It included a template to e-mail Huffington.
Ruiz wrote to Lunzer, “We feel there’s a critical distinction between our editors and reporters and the people who contribute to our group blog.” Ruiz noted that the Huffington Post had a staff of 143 paid employees. On Thursday, Ruiz told TheDC that the site had hired 17 additional journalists since March 7.
Read more here.
Also Must Read:
B-NET: Newspaper Guild Boycott Call for Huffington Post Will Go Nowhere