Mario Ruiz, the Huffington Post’s senior vice president for Media Relations, wrote in an e-mail to TheDC, “HuffPost has 148 editors, writers, and reporters on our edit team. While we pay our editors, writers, and reporters, we don’t pay for the opinion pieces submitted by our thousands of bloggers. With the exception of .0001 percent, contributors to our group blog are happy to access the platform and the huge audience it brings.”
Ruiz did not indicate any intention by the Huffington Post to consider the demands made by Lasarow and other contributors on strike. Instead, Ruiz stated a frequently-invoked defense of the system of not paying bloggers and contributors.
“People blog on HuffPost for free for the same reason they go on cable TV shows every night for free – because they are passionate about their ideas, want them to be heard by the largest possible audience, and understand the value that that kind of visibility can bring,” Ruiz said.
“Our bloggers can choose to write for HuffPost – or not write for HuffPost,” Ruiz said. “They can write as often as like they like or as little as they like. As I said, vast majority of our bloggers are thrilled to blog for us – and we’re thrilled to have them. The proof is in the pudding: people are looking to join the party, not go home early!”
Lasarow expressed confidence about the chances of the strike achieving its goals, but said that his group had already realized a measure of success.
“We’ve already been successful, we have stood on principle,” said Lasarow. “We have already succeeded in stating our principle. It seems to have been well understood publicly.”
“Whether we enter into any agreement remains to be seen,” he added.