Huffington Post Rebuffs Union ‘Boycott’

Spokesman: “The vast majority of our bloggers are thrilled to contribute”

The Huffington Post has responded to the Newspaper Guild's call for unpaid bloggers to "boycott" writing for the site.

"The vast majority of our bloggers are thrilled to contribute," Mario Ruiz, a spokesman for the site, told Agence France-Press over the weekend. "And we're thrilled to have them."

Last week, the Guild sent a memo to its 26,000-plus members, urging their support of a group of unpaid HuffPo bloggers protesting the site's continuation of their pay policy after HuffPo's $315 million sale to AOL was announced. The writer's union called on other unpaid contributors to stop blogging for free.

"[We are] squarely behind the Newspaper Guild's mission of ensuring that media professionals receive fair compensation," Ruiz told AFP. "It's why we employ a newsroom of 160 full-time editors and reporters, 17 of whom we've hired since last Monday."

"However, we make a distinction between our newsroom staffers and our group bloggers — most of whom are not professional writers but come from all walks of life," he said. ""Bottom line: nearly all of our bloggers are happy with the arrangement, and happy to access the platform and the huge audience it brings, without having to build, pay for, edit, moderate or maintain that platform. Indeed, we are inundated with requests from people who want to blog. The proof is in the pudding: people are looking to join the party, not go home early."

Earlier this month, Arianna Huffington scoffed at the  "strike" launched by the Visual Arts group.

“The idea of going on strike when no one really notices,” Huffington said. “Go ahead, go on strike.”