The Huffington Post’s UK editor-in-chief Stephen Hull has provoked a curious backlash on Twitter following an appearance on Radio 4’s Media Show where he was asked why he doesn’t pay writers, writes Alex Iacovangelo.
“I love this question,” he replied:
“If I was paying someone to write something because I want it to get advertising, that’s not a real authentic way of presenting copy.
“When somebody writes something for us, we know it’s real, we know they want to write it. It’s not been forced or paid for. I think that’s something to be proud of.”
Tweeters quickly condemned him for encouraging the tactic during a time when jobs are being cut and budding journalists struggle to financially survive.
Below are some of the tweets, you can read the rest on this link:
(Note: @edcaesar quoted Stephen Hull)
@edcaesar In that case, he should refuse his salary – we wouldn’t want his corrupted paid-for editing would we? His editing should be “real”
— Stuart McGurk (@stuartmcgurk) February 18, 2016
@edcaesar Ed, this is a disgusting way to treat people. And to quote yourself like that! I thought more of you. This is where we part.
— Letters of Note (@LettersOfNote) February 18, 2016
@edcaesar @arseblog Real incentive for all young journalists. Hey let’s do something really good for free. Journalism is a job not a charity
— Stephen Killick (@SteveKills) February 18, 2016
.@edcaesar When I scream ARSEHOLE at him, nobody will be paying me. He’ll know it’s real.
— Eddie Robson (@EddieRobson) February 18, 2016
@edcaesar Bullshit. This fellow just needs to admit they are too cheap to pay authors & too corrupt to share earning off their writing!
— Nuzhat S. Siddiqi (@guldaar) February 18, 2016
@edcaesar @stephenbhull I’m curious as to where your idea that unpaid writing is somehow “purer” than paid writing comes from.
— Torraine Walker (@TorraineWalker) February 18, 2016
@edcaesar Which is why I stopped writing for them – also because they don’t promote the writing, and also because of the Sidebar of Shame.
— Judi Sutherland (@judi_sutherland) February 18, 2016
@edcaesar No. Are you insinuating that people who do get paid for their work are less real? THIS is why I did not choose to write for you.
— Wordtasting (@Cookwitch) February 18, 2016
@edcaesar @SallyThompson they’re prepared to take the financial reward of other people’s labour, though
— That Dave McKinnon (@DaveMcKinnon__) February 18, 2016
.@edcaesar What’s even worse is that “exposure” hungry writers do it, not realising that all it adds to their CV is: “Happy to be exploited”
— Sam Rowe (@samrowe_) February 18, 2016
Maybe it’s the HuffPost UK editor’s salary that is making them speak such inauthentic bollocks @edcaesar
— Abi Wilkinson (@AbiWilks) February 18, 2016
@edcaesar Surely has opposite effect. If not getting paid then fuck it, if all elements of a piece arent 100% correct what are they losing?
— Simon Margolis (@Si_Margolis) February 18, 2016
@edcaesar Another interpretation: because we don’t pay them, there’s no onus on them to write truthfully or do proper research.
— Bobbito Ball (@bobbitoball) February 18, 2016
@edcaesar @feelinglistless This is why I won’t read Huff Post, because I know its owners are exploitative.
— asta (@asta) February 18, 2016
@edcaesar @mikejakeman was he then asked: “So, why are you not working for free?”
— Alt Cricket (@AltCricket) February 18, 2016