This Week’s Cartoon: Freelancer Riot At Huffington Palace
A rare one-panel Slowpoke. I was sure someone must have already done this idea, but couldn’t find it anywhere.
I often hear people say that Huffpo’s unpaid contributors were fools for doing all that free work in the first place. Which is mostly true, but overlooks the fact that Huffpo also seeks out work from published writers and cartoonists. And they simply refuse to pay. As Matt Bors blogged last week, Huffpo contacted him while he was in Afghanistan, filing comics for paying clients. They wanted to post his work on the site, but darned if they just didn’t have the budget to pay for it! Not only was Huffpo being unfair to him, but to the publications that were buying the work. He said no, but this sort of situation creates an unfortunate race to the bottom for freelancers and paying publications alike. Which is why I try to avoid clicking on any links to the Huffington Post if I can.
For further reading, I suggest this article in the Columbia Journalism Review about an earlier case of labor exploitation involving AOL.
Oh, and you can read my Huffpo-AOL comments and those of several other cartoonists over at Washington Post’s “Comic Riffs” blog.