New Globe and Mail policy affects freelancers

John Stackhouse, executive editor at the Globe and Mail, has reportedly told Globe staffers they can no longer freelance for Toronto Life  and Chatelaine because the magazines are now considered “competitors.” What’s more, the same policy applies may soon apply to freelancers who contribute to the paper, most of whom don’t earn enough from the Globe to support themselves.

Both the Canadian Writers Group, which represents the majority of Globe freelancers, and CEP Local 87-M, which represents staff, are expressing serious concerns.

“At least one prominent Globe columnist was told editor John Stackhouse is clamping down on regularly employed freelancers working for Toronto Life and Chatelaine,” says Derek Finkle of CWG.

Stackhouse did not return email or phone messages to thestoryboard.ca. Opinion on what’s driving the ban is divided. One storyline suggests management is peeved at a feature story in last fall’s Toronto Life which painted an unflattering portrait of the paper’s much ballyhooed design. Another theory is that the “new” Globe wants to attract advertisers who normally park their ad budgets at Toronto Life and Chatelaine.

Finkle says CWG represented writers are willing to discuss exclusivity if the Globe talks about appropriate compensation. Without higher rates, he suspects, there will be pushback.

“It’s a slippery slope,” he says, “Today, it’s Toronto Life and Chatelaine. Next week, it could be a dozen more publications who are perceived to be competitors.”

Brad Honywill, SONG president is equally concerned: “We’ve just become aware of it and we’re looking into it at this point.”

Al Shanoff used to be Sun Media’s lawyer and now freelances as a writer, teacher and consultant. He says the edict may not cross any legal boundaries. “I write for Sun Media, and no one has told me, but I know if I ever wrote a column for the Toronto Star they’d terminate my contract,” says Shanoff, who also writes a column in the Law Times.

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm by story board · · Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Written by Rick Spence
    on February 18, 2011 at 12:42 am
    Reply · Permalink

    So does this mean we will no longer see Globe writers and editors appearing on radio and TV, providing content to the same broadcasters that compete with the Globe for advertising dollars and audience attention?

    Nah, didn’t think so.

  2. Written by Angus
    on July 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm
    Reply · Permalink

    Stacker should work on improving the quality of his shitty rag, rather than playing the Fuhrer over freelancers.

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