CWG negotiates new deal with Reader’s Digest

It doesn’t happen every day, so when writers make gains after negotiating with a publication, it’s a story worth sharing. Working with Reader’s Digest managing editor Derek Webster, Derek Finkle negotiated a new pay grid on behalf of writers represented by the Canadian Writers Group this fall. Shortly before Webster left the magazine in October, […]

Posted on January 3, 2012 at 9:00 am by editor · 2 Comments · Tagged with: , , , ,

On fear and hunger: the Born Freelancer’s open letter to employers

I was having coffee recently with a colleague. Okay, actually, in my case, it was hot chocolate. Hey, it was cold outside and I needed a sugar hit. But we freelancers haven’t yet come up with a better expression than “having coffee” to denote a casual meeting. “Having tea” sounds too lightweight. “Having hot chocolate” […]

Posted on November 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,

Increasingly ill-defined roles translate to lower rates for freelance editors

“When hired to ‘edit,’ are you hired to be a developmental editor? A copyeditor? A proofreader? A compositor? Is what you are being paid commensurate with what you are being asked to do?” Freelance editors are hurting themselves and their peers by not distinguishing between different editing roles when negotiating with clients, says a post on An […]

Posted on September 16, 2011 at 10:32 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Required reading: A look at freelance writers and collective organizing in Canada

Nicole S. Cohen, a PhD candidate in York University’s Communication and Culture graduate program, is working on a large project on historical and contemporary efforts to organize freelance writers. As part of that project, she’s written a paper entitled “Negotiating Writers’ Rights: Freelance Cultural Labour and the Challenge of Organizing,” recently published in Just Labour: […]

Huffington Post Canada on “content mills”

Well, this is something. In a post on HuffPo Canada, freelance writer Bob Beaty discusses the value of freelance content sites and asks writers to weigh in on them too. The conclusion of the article, in brief, is that while writers are severely underpaid by these sites and are dissuaded from putting any personality into […]

Posted on July 20, 2011 at 8:17 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,

Breaking news, and breaking even (sometimes)

By guest contributor Karen Wirsig It used to be that the capitalists who owned newspapers took care of the money and hired fleets of journalists mostly focused on covering the news. Sure, there were conflicts in this scenario. Lots of them. But it was a generally workable model for reporting to a mass audience and […]

Posted on May 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm by editor · 2 Comments · Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Survey of HuffPo bloggers finds they want to be paid

In a shocking revelation, a study of Huffington Post bloggers by researchers at UC Santa Barbara’s Carsey-Wolf Center—which included analyzing 500 press clippings about AOL’s $315-million acquisition of HuffPo and a survey of HuffPo’s most frequent contributors—found that they think they deserve to be paid for their labour, which requires their time, effort, and numerous […]

Posted on May 12, 2011 at 8:30 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Demand Media demands quality, attention with new Feature Writer role

Notorious content farmers Demand Media (read up on them here) issued a press release recently, announcing they are creating new roles for feature writers, through their “content creation studio,” that will provide content for their online properties, and These features will “incorporate original reporting, exclusive quotes, side bars, and have word counts […]

Posted on May 10, 2011 at 12:14 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Re-evaluating HuffPo’s unpaid bloggers

On his Mixed Media blog at, Jeff Bercovici offers a new angle to consider in the recent lawsuit that unpaid writers have brought against the Huffington Post and AOL. Bercovici starts off by acknowledging that, in terms of ad revenue, US$105 million is too high a value for the bloggers’ work, but he builds […]

Posted on April 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , , ,

Arianna Huffington responds to lawsuit

In a post on her own site, Arianna Huffington takes time out from “aggregating adorable kitten videos” to discuss the $105 million lawsuit that Jonathan Tasini is pursuing against the Huffington Post and AOL on behalf of 9,000 unpaid HuffPo writers. Huffington’s tone is entirely dismissive: “First, let’s look at the merits of the case,” […]

Posted on April 14, 2011 at 11:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,