It’s amazing, we constantly hear about when a company lays off workers so they can ship jobs to cheaper locations, those that hide money in offshore accounts and a whole other host of real and imagined scumbaggery tactics that make all of us question the path that some in corporate America have taken. In many cases, the bottom line is that a company has the right to make money. Let’s face it, this is the American Dream and capitalism is often at the heart of that dream. But what happens when someone crosses a line, whether that line is real or imagined, that offends their customers? Huffington Post happens to have crossed that line in my humble opinion.
In all fairness
I really stumbled onto this article about the trouble in Ferguson by mistake as I’m not a “regular” HP reader. In reality, the only normal reading I participate in at HP is written by a relative of mine so in fairness one couldn’t refer to me as a “customer” although since the site is free (except for the thousands of annoying advertisements and surveys) HP probably doesn’t give a rat’s fanny what I think. That won’t stop me from speaking out.
This takes AUDACITY
The “take” on this piece that I referenced is about keeping a “presence” in Ferguson after the dust-up that is currently going on settles down. They would like to be able to “report” the new information such as trials, investigations and so forth and so on. I think that’s an admirable goal to keep this in the forefront of people’s minds. But here’s what I DO NOT think is right, if you read this article carefully they’re telling you about a “citizen journalist” they plan to train to be a “real journalist” and show her the ropes so she can do in-depth news reporting of new events. Here’s the problem(s):
A) She’s already doing it – as the article points out, this person is already doing a daily column that is being published about the happenings in the area. From all accounts, she’s doing an admirable job too.
B) HuffPost begging – what DISGUSTS me most about this is the site (HP) has set up a donation page to pay this person $40,000 to do this reporting. Seriously? This is the same company that was sold for $315M (yes that is million with an M) and screwing countless bloggers who were working for free.
C) Tapping into a gold mine – Huffington has more money than 99 percent of her readers, much more. She’s officially in the “one percent” having netted as much as $100 MILLION from this sale. Why in the world are you asking your readers for donations to pay a “journalist”? HIRE HER if you want her — most of your readers probably are not making $40K a year.
Far be it from me to be critical of anyone offering someone an excellent opportunity to make a dollar and far be it from me to criticize a company who is going to turn a relatively obscure writer into an overnight sensation — but why are people who can ill afford to pay this person’s salary going to do it when the corporate hounds that HAVE the money can do that without blinking an eyeball AND can write it off as a tax writeoff?
I’m sorry, you won’t see a red cent from me and you certainly have soured me on your business model.