The Very Bad, Sad, and Tragic News: The Huffpost is closing down all its unpaid bloggers.
The Good News : LiberalResistance.net is offering them a new home and a warm welcome.
Here’s the background. Long ago and far away, Arianna Huffington began her site “The Huffington Post” at least in part as a hang out for citizen journalists. It opened its doors to great masses of writers, yearning to report the news and offer their opinions, even though they didn’t come from J-schools or have connections with Those Who Know Best.
And it worked. For something like thirteen years, unpaid, volunteer bloggers have given the (recently renamed) HuffPost the kind of punch that most other publications only dream of having. The bloggers have offered unusual perspectives, covered stories that the mainstream press wouldn’t touch, broken big news when the professional journalists missed it, and generally been the voice of the people. In fact, according to a recent New York Times story, the HuffPost at most recent count had something like 100,000 bloggers contributing to it on a regular basis.
Ah, but it seems it was too good to last. There’s new brooms showing their bristles in the management at HuffPost, (Arianna Huffington jumped or was pushed form the helm long ago) and the publication is going to get “professional.” No more of these just ordinary people offering their insights. No siree. From now, it’s going to be real journalists, and real experts, who have credentials, and contacts, and who therefore have a right to an opinion.
HuffPost Doesn’t Want You!
So, the bloggers are getting the boot.
To be fair, HuffPost’s decision may not be entirely driven by elitism. The publication has had some trouble with its amateurs. There have been cases of fake news and falsehoods on the blogs. And, in an age of Russian hackers and Drumpfian propaganda, maybe you can understand some of the concerns of HuffPost’s managers.
Still, in our humble opinion, shutting down the blogs entirely looks extreme. Okay, it looks damn dumb. At the very least, it seems like HuffPost could have instead made some sort of effort to keep the blogs, while policing them a little more thoroughly, maybe by instituting some self-monitoring system, sort of like the one the DailyKos has.
And besides…turning off 100,000 bloggers with the flick of a switch? Particularly after those people helped make HuffPost a success? That’s just mean, not to mention ungrateful.
But, like we say, there is an upside to this otherwise gruesome tale of woe. To wit, if HuffPost doesn’t want its bloggers, we do.
But We Want YOU!
So, are you a writer…or were you formerly a writer…for HuffPost? Do you have a mildly progressive bent? Or, even if you’re not a progressive, do you dislike Der Drumpf? Do you want big money out of politics and the voters back in?
If so, give us a shout! We’re eager to be your new home away from Huff.
And, unlike some editors we can mention, we know a good thing…and good bloggers…when we see ‘em.