Everyone Has A Right to My Opinion – So Do I Have to Get Paid For It

April 18, 2011
By Neal Tepel

Today's news that labor activist and sometime political candidate Jonathan Tasini is the lead plaintiff in a $105 million lawsuit demanding that the Huffington Post pay heretofore uncompensated bloggers raises key questions about the information industry and the internet. There have been dozens of articles in various media about a related topic the huge number of unpaid interns who create web content for hundreds of websites. These are the same interns who often slave at non profits until they give up in frustration at not getting a paid gig or remain working, buoyed by free rent at Mom's house.

The official U.S. unemployment rate is 9 percent, with many saying the true rate is twice that, once you count the "discouraged workers" who are no longer looking. I wonder if that 9 percent counts all of those unpaid bloggers. It should. The irony of so many socially aware people commenting trenchantly on the issues of the day while receiving no compensation is stark. The main remedy progressive people and everyone else calls for is jobs, yet the people who are calling for them don't have them. Or at least aren't being paid for what counts as legitimate work.
For the record, all of Labor Press's writers are paid. Some contributors and columnists are not. Freelancers are invited to submit a writing sample and, if we like it, be assigned $50 for a short piece (from 300 to 450 words), and we'll throw in an extra $25 if a good photo goes with it. It's not a lot, but it's better than what the Huffington Post pays. Just send your writing sample and resume to


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