Henry says that the sale of Huffington Post to AOL for $315 million “was fabulous news for the already fabulously wealthy Arianna Huffington and her cronies, but a slap in the face for the army of unpaid wordsmiths on which the HuffPo has built a blog empire using, essentially, the slave labor of journalists who wrote posts for free in the hope it may make a difference, including to their cash flow, down the track.”
Later on in the piece, Henry says:
- But I've taken to adopting the mantra "adapt or die," and find myself -- like many mid-career scribblers -- struggling to find a way to make a living in a field where the landscape has changed dramatically. Although I shifted to food writing two years ago, a notoriously under-paid beat, I've been able to eke out an income by diversifying and carving out a niche.
- The jury is out on whether this experiment will work, and there are days when I wonder if I should go fill out an application at Trader Joe's. I know scores of writers, both freelancers and those who used to be staffers, who feel the same way.
- [W]hat we have going on here is sweatshop conditions akin to the old economy's industrial capitalism: Poorly paid piecework and huge profits for the owners. Something has to shift.