Content|September 9, 2011| Author: James Johnson|Tags: , ,

Huffington Post And Patch Hiring 13-Year-Old Writers, Still Not Paying Them

Kid Writer

The Huffington Post has received a lot of slack from bloggers who can’t understand why anyone would write for the site without being compensated, then again those writers are adults who are free to make up their own minds, many choosing the exposure they receive over pay (I bet you can’t name 10 HuffPost writers by name). Now the company is treading into dangerous territory, preparing to launch HuffPost High School which is specifically recruiting writers as young as 13-years-old.

The new site will even be fully produced by minors, including editor Myles Miller who is just 17-years old.

On the other side of the market is hyperlocal provider Patch, also an AOL company, which is not only targeting high school children but also middle school kids to contribute to the site.

A Patch spokeswoman told Forbes:

“On occasion, we’ve partnered with parents and schools to provide young journalists with the opportunity to have their voices and stories heard,” while they add, “As HPMG will soon be launching HuffPost High School, we’ll be expanding our sharing platform to teens.”

The move to hire a younger base has not surprisingly raised more than a few eyebrows including Rebecca Rosen Lum of the Newspaper Build’s Freelance Project who notes:

“Watch industry follow suit and start trying to hire 10-year-olds to run machines again.”

At this point it’s hard to say children are being exploited as unpaid labor because unpaid blogging first needs to be considered labor and Jonathan Tasini, a lead plaintiff in the $105 million class action suit against Huffington Post is attempting to do just that.

I was just thinking today “you know what AOL is missing, bad publicity…they could always use more bad publicity during a company wide meltdown.”

What do you think about hiring unpaid 13-year-old writers to work for a major online publication?