Online Awakening Spreads
Commenters on Globe & Mail and CBC sites take to cul-de-sacs and backyardsFeb 28th, 2011 | By Coco Cabrera | Category: Business
Emboldened by the plebeian uprising against the rule of Adrianna Huffington, no-wage earners’ protests are spreading across the online world.
Unpaid contributors to the Huffington Post reacted angrily when the site’s tyrannical ruler, Adrianna Huffington, sold their work and good faith to AOL for over $300 million without compensating them. News of the sale sparked protests in Starbucks and other free Wi-Fi locations across the United States.
Unrest has now spread to free-content providers throughout the world of digital media. In Calgary Vernon Knudson, a frequent anti-fluoridation commenter on the Calgary Herald and The National Post websites, stomped around grumbling in his driveway. “I have been providing content for free. The articles are boring as bejesus, everybody goes right to the meat … the comments.” Indeed the ravings of nutters like Knudson have come to represent an increasing portion of of news organizations’ online content.
Commercial news giants like Bell Globemedia and Quebecor can hardly believe their luck. “It’s no secret that we are filling up the web sites with the angry gibberish of shut-ins and people off their meds,” said a leading newspaper executive who wished to remain anonymous. “They say stuff we could never get away with and we don’t pay them a nickel. Content is King, but free content is best. We call them “citizen journalists” but a better name would be “suckers””
Judy Frampton of Red Deer, a regular caller to CBC Radio programs, was shocked to realize the National Public Broadcaster was using her to fill up air time with content for which they would otherwise have to pay. “I’ve been on Cross-Country Check-Up three times over the years. I wanted to think Rex cared when really he’s just counting his money.” Ms. Frampton broke down in tears when she realized how much she had contributed to her local call-in programs when, free as a lark, she’d call up on topics ranging from organic gardening to knitting.
urNews maintains a strict policy of paying all its contributors equal rates. “Everybody gets a fair share of the take here at urNews,” said Head in Chief Elsworth Lundrigan, “And as that relies on the generosity of our readership I can confirm that, to date, it has been fuck-all in a brin bag.”
-with files by Paul Moth