Arianna Huffington apparently isn’t bothered by all the complaints from bloggers and citizen journalists who are angry they haven’t been paid for their years of contributions to The Huffington Post.
In fact, she invited bloggers this week to begin contributing to a similar venture with AOL’s Patch.com.
Called “Local Voices,” the new expansion of AOL’s local online news sites seeks bloggers to “complement Patch’s original reporting” in the United States, Huffington said in her announcement on Wednesday.
Local Voices “includes a vision that will utilize every possible resource to ensure accurate, relevant and comprehensive coverage,” including “our ever-expanding network of Patch editors and reporters . . . and cross-posting and amplifying the work of local bloggers who are already doing great work, providing them an even more powerful platform for expressing their views,” according to Huffington.
That’s all fine and dandy, but will this new concept anger an even larger number of bloggers and citizen journalists who would like to get paid for their work? And will those protests lead to boycotts and make AOL regret pouring millions into the project?
AOL reportedly has spent $40 million on Patch in the first quarter of this year alone. It also spent $315 million for The Huffington Post in February.
Or will this project, as AOL hopes, help it regain its prominence on the Internet?
This is one story that is fascinating to watch.
Susan Cormier is the co-author of the “Handbook for Citizen Journalists” (http://www.citizenjournalistnow.com/).