Posts Tagged ‘bloggers’

Bloggers’ Lawsuit Dismissed Against AOL, HuffPo

A New York federal court judge has ruled against bloggers who sued The Huffington Post for compensation for their contributions to the news website.

“There is no question that the plaintiffs submitted their materials to The Huffington Post with no expectation of monetary compensation and that they got what they paid for – exposure in The Huffington Post,” U.S. District Court Judge John G. Koeltl wrote in his March 30 dismissal of the lawsuit.

Jonathan Tasini and others contributors /bloggers filed the class action suit after AOL purchased the Huffington Post for $315 million in February 2011, claiming their contributions and articles contributed to the value of The Huffington Post.

They were seeking back pay – to the tune of $105 million, according to the suit that was filed April 12, 2011, against AOL, TheHuffingtonPost.com, and Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer, the news website’s founders.

Judge Koeltl found that the plaintiffs represented “professional or quasi-professional writers” who “submitted significant volumes of content over varying periods of time. For example, plaintiff Tasini, described in the Complaint as a professional author, politician, union leader and successful United States Supreme Court litigant, submitted content 216 times over the course of more than five years and publicized that content through social networking media such as Facebook and Twitter.

“Rather than monetary compensation, the unpaid content providers are offered exposure — namely, visibility, promotion and distribution, for themselves and their work,” the judge continued.

“Under New York law, a plaintiff must plead some expectation of compensation that was denied in order to recover under a theory of unjust enrichment. The complaint fails to do so and the claim for unjust enrichment must therefore be dismissed,” according to the judge’s ruling.

Susan Cormier is the co-author of the “Handbook for Citizen Journalists” (http://www.citizenjournalistnow.com/)

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04

04 2012

Arianna Continues to Spread her Wings

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/).

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07

05 2011

Bloggers take legal action over Huffington Post sale

huffingtonpost most popular blog 300x300 How Many Visitors is HuffingtonPost Driving Monthly?

Arianna Huffington, her website and AOL were on the receiving end of a $105m (?64.5m) lawsuit by a group of angry bloggers unhappy that she sold the Huffington Post for $315m without them being paid a penny.

The class action is led by Jonathan Tasini, a writer and trade unionist, who wrote more than 250 posts for Huffington Post on an unpaid basis until he dropped out shortly after the news and comment site was sold to AOL earlier this year.

Read the full story here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/apr/12/arianna-huffington-post-sale

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14

04 2011

Citizen Journalism Training Applauded

Kudos to the New Jersey Hyperlocal News Association for its efforts to educate citizen journalists and bloggers.

The group is being organized by the Citizens’ Campaign, which supports citizen journalism as a way for individuals to become involved in their communities, according to a news report written by Stephen Reed on MyCentralJersey.com.

“The new association plans to host bi-monthly meetings where citizen journalists and bloggers can learn about different aspects of covering local news and government,” according to Reed’s report.

This New Jersey group really got down to some basics at its first meeting on Wednesday. A panel reportedly discussed the annual reorganizational meetings held by local governments to organize, renew contracts and choose their leaders.

As the head coach in charge of training at the National Association of Citizen Journalists, I find this group a wonderful step in the right direction. I am a firm believer that citizen journalists and bloggers must be trained in the basics of journalism so that they can better inform their communities.

These New Jersey citizen journalists and bloggers got an even deeper understanding of government when they discussed the nuts and bolts of how governments organize.

This group’s efforts have inspired me to offer some personal training closer to my home in Parker, Colo. If there are Colorado citizen journalists who would like to host a three- or four-hour workshop on the basics of journalism, just let me know.

If you can get 10 to 15 aspiring or practicing citizen journalists together, I’d be happy to give some lessons in journalism 101. We can discuss how to conduct an interview, how to write a news story, how to generate story ideas or a topic of your choosing. If you are interested, simply contact me at susanc@nacj.us.

Susan Cormier is the head coach in charge of training at the National Association of Citizen Journalists (http://nacj.us/) and co-author of the “Handbook for Citizen Journalists” (http://www.citizenjournalistnow.com/).

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12 2010