Unpaid contributors, when used too much, can have a negative effect on quality, Gawker reported yesterday, citing the Huffington Post as an example.
Ariana Huffington doesn't pay most of her contributing writers; therefore, those writing for the popular online publication "must make the work pay elsewhere, and this is where HuffPo gets itself into trouble," Gawker's Ryan Tate writes.
In one example, Tate cites the recent claim of a HuffPo columnist who wrote about colon cleansing as a possible treatment for swine flu. The author of the article, Kim Evans, used the article and the site for self-promotion of her book, Cleaning Up! The Ultimate Body Cleanse.
Tate also cites William Thompson Jr., New York City's comptroller and mayoral candidate, also resident Huffington Post contributor, as another example. According to The New Republic, a recent piece by Thompson is used as a personal platform for Thompson to bash Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, while also leaving out the fact that Thompson is running for mayor (the current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, appointed Klein).