Bill Lasarow, publisher and co-editor of the LA-based website Visual Art Source, has declared himself and his website on strike against the Huffington Post. Lasarow says he was aware HuffPo did not pay for content when he accepted an offer to syndicate his site’s stories on HuffPo last year. But he’s fed up with that arrangement now.
While he doesn’t say so explicitly, we imagine Lasarow’s about-face may have something to do with knowing Arianna Huffington now has $315 million floating around in AOL-dollars. Lasarow says he won’t resume putting his stories on HuffPo until two demands have been met: “First, a pay schedule must be proposed and steps initiated to implement it for all contributing writers and bloggers. Second, paid promotional material must no longer be posted alongside editorial content; a press release or exhibition catalogue essay is fundamentally different from editorial content and must be either segregated and indicated as such, or not published at all.”
More from Lasarow:
It is unethical to expect trained and qualified professionals to contribute quality content for nothing. It is unethical to cannibalize the investment of other organizations who bear the cost of compensation and other overhead without payment for the usage of their content. It is extremely unethical to not merely blur but eradicate the distinction between the independent and informed voice of news and opinion and the voice of a shill.
Lasarow is encouraging other HuffPo bloggers–especially those writing for free–to join the strike.