Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Modern School: Robert Reich, Scabbing On Arianna’s Plantation

Modern School: Robert Reich, Scabbing On Arianna’s Plantation

Robert Reich, Scabbing On Arianna’s Plantation

The Huffington Post has now surpassed the New York Times in online readership, Working in These Timesreported today, and their newsroom is now bigger, too, with 1,300 staff members, compared with the Times’ 1,200. However, the Times still pays their unionized writers (at least the “professional” ones), while the Post relies on volunteer bloggers for the bulk of its reporting.

In response, the Newspaper Guild and the National Writers Union have called on bloggers to refuse to write for the Huffington Post and for an electronic picket of the website. The unions are demanding a pay schedule be established for the compensation of all bloggers and that they be given greater editorial control over their work.

Not everyone has respected the picket, including Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, American Prospect Editor Robert Kuttner, Robert Creamer of Americans United for Change, and bloggers at the labor-funded Campaign for America’s Future, according to Working in These Times. Reich has argued that he is a proponent of the Creative Commons and gives his work freely to all. Yet he copyrights his books and makes a great deal of money from them. Furthermore, he is independently wealthy and does not depend on his blog posts for his survival.

The point of the Creative Commons, like all commons, is to maintain a resource that the masses can share and