Wil Wheaton created quite a fuss last month with an essay about Huffington Post’s request to republish an essay from his blog sans payment. When we called attention to a Salon article discussing paid versus unpaid creative work, Gawker had a “got you” moment, pointing out that The Rumpus doesn’t pay its writers. Fair enough, although perhaps the conversation is a bit more nuanced. Autostraddle rightfully points out that there is probably a difference between heavily capitalized professional publishers like Huffington Post and Gawker Media and independent publishers staffed by volunteers:
Yes, it was gutsy of The Rumpus, who indeed doesn’t pay its writers, to even wade into the conversation. But The Rumpus isn’t The Huffington Post. The Rumpus isn’t Gawker, either, or The Atlantic or Entertainment Weekly. The Rumpus, unlike HuffPo, can’t afford to pay its writers. The website doesn’t garner enough income to pay its writers. Full stop.