CBC Advises Freelancers on How to Get Paid in the Event of a Canada Post Labour Dispute

The union representing Canada Post employees issued 72-hour strike notice yesterday. As a result, there may be a disruption in postal services across Canada starting early next week. The CBC has advised us on some options aimed at making sure freelance contributors who currently receive their paycheques in the mail can make alternate arrangements.

The options, explained below, include arranging for direct deposit, having cheques sent to a CBC location of the freelancer’s choice, or having a cheque couriered to them at their own expense. 

If you have any questions, please direct them to Freelance Branch President Don Genova at freelance@cmg.ca.


 

Note to Freelance Contributors from CBC/Radio-Canada

Re: Postal labour dispute

In the event of a Canada Post work stoppage, there are a few options you should be aware of:

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Posted on August 26, 2016 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Join the CMG at the CNE on Labour Day

Freelancers and other media workers are invited to join the Canadian Media Guild for a Labour Day parade in Toronto on Monday, September 5th.

The parade starts at 9 a.m. at University and Queen Street West in Toronto and ends at the CNE where participants will get free admission to the fair. Family and friends welcome.

If you’re outside of Toronto, don’t forget to look into Labour Day parades in your community.  

Hope to see you there!

Labour Day Poster 2016 v2 - Legal - ENG - labour

Posted on August 24, 2016 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Media interns: Share your experiences

Did you work a media internship this summer… or in the recent past? We’d like to hear about your experiences. Errol Salamon is a freelance writer and the work and labour editor of J-Source. He’s also the author of a series of columns on Story Board called E-Lancer Writes.

For his next column, Errol is planning to explore media internships in Canada. He’s interested in hearing what was beneficial and what could have been improved about your internship experience. He will keep your responses anonymous, if you’d prefer.

This is just the beginning of our union’s exploration of media internships. This year, the CWA Canada Associate Members Steering Committee is organizing a way for associate members across Canada to share their internship stories. These responses could become part of a report about working conditions at media internships.

Help us learn more about media internships in Canada. You can email Errol at errolsalamon@gmail.com for more information.

Posted on August 23, 2016 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Aug 16-22

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, publishing, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on August 22, 2016 at 7:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

CANADALAND takes on Alberta’s notoriously slow-paying publisher

The media criticism website CANADALAND published a post this week about Venture Publishing’s habit of paying its freelancers extremely late. Edmonton writer Jay Smith spoke with a number of freelancers as well as Venture Publishing’s CEO and president Ruth Kelly about the publisher’s financial troubles.

The publisher, which owns Alberta Venture and Alberta Oil magazines and also publishes a number of corporate publications, is well known among Alberta freelancers for paying contributors between 6 and 15 months after publication.

Story Board covered this  topic two and a half years ago in what has become one of our most widely read and commented upon posts. That post is still receiving comments from freelancers who are waiting for delayed payments, with three new comments arriving this month alone.

 

Posted on August 19, 2016 at 1:14 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Equity issues at VICE Canada highlighted by unionization effort

This post is the seventh in a series called “E-Lancer Writes,” exploring the working conditions, rights, and collective organizing strategies of freelance journalists, interns, and other low-wage or temporary digital media workers.

 

By Errol Salamon Bernie

The VICE Canada bargaining committee has been looking closely at equity issues as it prepares for upcoming meetings in August to negotiate a first collective agreement.

The majority of VICE Canada employees voted to join the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) in June.

“When VICE workers first came to the CMG, they expressed concerns about two main equity issues: a concern that women may be paid less than men and that the VICE workforce is ‘whiter’ than the Canadian population,” wrote CMG president Carmel Smyth in an email.

VICE Canada employees announced they were organizing a union in December 2015.

At the beginning of the organizing campaign, VICE workers considered collecting information on individuals’ pay rates.

“We wanted to create a Google form so people could anonymously put in their salaries and add their gender because we were concerned that there would be a huge gap in pay between genders, especially at our office,” said a VICE Canada employee who asked to remain anonymous.

“We didn’t end up getting around to doing that, but that is one thing that we would want to rectify because I know that there—100 percent—is a gap in pay based on gender.”

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Posted on August 19, 2016 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

The Born Freelancer on Why Paying to be Published is Wrong

This series of posts by the Born Freelancer shares personal experiences and thoughts on issues relevant to freelancers. Have something to add to the conversation? Your input is welcome in bornfreel2the comments. 

Am I the only person offended by the concept of an author being required to pay to be published?

No, it’s worse than that. It’s being exhorted to pay for the merest chance that you might get published.

You see, there’s no guarantee if you pay so-called “reader’s fees” that you’ll actually get into print.

I’m talking about those purportedly “literary” publications which demand potential authors to pay to have their work read for possible publication and offer little or no remuneration in return.

Authors rule!

In my much younger days if you paid to be published it was called “vanity” publishing. Everyone in the business shunned such practices as it was assumed if you had to pay to get into print you couldn’t be worth reading.

In a parallel example, agents of any description who require potential clients to pay suspiciously-named fees upfront have always been avoided like the plague by any creative type with half a brain. No legitimate agent I have ever encountered behaves in that way. They take their fees from you after they have found you work.

OK, so now today self-publishing is a recognized medium in which authors can take control of their destinies and by-pass conventional publishers and deliver their work directly to the public. But it is in no way to be confused with paying others to be published.

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Posted on August 17, 2016 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Aug 9-15

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, publishing, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

  • The 3 R’s of freelancing: Reuse, Repurpose, Resell: You’ve heard that clichéd line, “the gift that keeps giving.” I’m starting to view my stories that way. If I resell an article I’ve written, or repurpose the story and sell a second or third rendition of that story, I am gifting myself—and putting extra money in the bank…
  • CWA Canada adopts Canada’s first guidelines on media internships: CWA Canada’s National Representative Council unanimously adopted Canada’s first guidelines on educational media internships at the union’s annual meeting in Calgary from April 29-30 to establish fair standards across the media industry…

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on August 15, 2016 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Aug 2-8

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, publishing, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Last week on Story Board:

  • The 3 R’s of freelancing: Reuse, Repurpose, Resell: You’ve heard that clichéd line, “the gift that keeps giving.” I’m starting to view my stories that way. If I resell an article I’ve written, or repurpose the story and sell a second or third rendition of that story, I am gifting myself—and putting extra money in the bank…
  • CWA Canada adopts Canada’s first guidelines on media internships: CWA Canada’s National Representative Council unanimously adopted Canada’s first guidelines on educational media internships at the union’s annual meeting in Calgary from April 29-30 to establish fair standards across the media industry…

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on August 8, 2016 at 9:36 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

The 3 R’s of freelancing: Reuse, Repurpose, Resell

By Sandra Phinney

You’ve heard that clichéd line, “the gift that keeps giving.” I’m starting to view my stories that way. If I resell an article I’ve written, or repurpose the story and sell a second or third rendition of that story, I am gifting myself—and putting extra money in the bank.

I’ve already done the leg-work, research and interviews, so using the same material more than once is a smart thing to do.

Pierre Berton, master re-seller

Here’s a great story that Silver Donald Cameron told a group a journalists. As Silver Don recalls, he first heard it from Harry Bruce.

It goes like this: “Pierre Berton began writing about the Klondike early in his career. He wrote newspaper columns about it, then radio talks, then magazine pieces, then TV stuff, a children’s book, finally a non-fiction book.  He sold it to mainstream publications and offbeat ones like travel magazines or outdoors magazines. I don’t recall the details. In those days of course there were no such things as educational CDs, web sites, video games and so on, as there are now. If there had been he probably would have sold it in all those forms too.”

In the end, Burton had sold the same story in 11 different venues—and was peeved because he couldn’t think of any way he had not sold it, and he wanted to make it an even dozen. After pondering the challenge for some time, he sold a piece to Writer’s Digest on how he’d made an eleven-way play.

Don continues: “I met Berton at a The Canadian Writers Union meeting ten or fifteen years later, and I asked him about the story. Was that actually the way it happened? ‘Close enough,’ Pierre grinned. ‘You’re authorized to keep on telling it that way.'”

Over the years, Silver Don’s become a resell guru himself. For example, his “living beach” project began with a radio spot that he wrote for the federal department of Energy Mines and Resources. He turned it into a radio talk, and then a magazine piece for Canadian Geographic. Using that CanGeo piece as a proposal, he then sold it to the CBC as an Ideas series and they gave him some travel money.
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Posted on August 5, 2016 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,