Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

03/11/2013

Insulting Intrigue From Atlantic Magazine’s Digital Side


A bad offer or what?

A little juicy publishing intrigue tonight — Apparently, the Atlantic Magazine (which I’ve always respected up until now) is soliciting quality work from real professionals and offering insulting pay — ZERO, to be exact!

Now, there will be some newbie writers who might be tempted to jump at the chance for great exposure with Atlantic, but, DON”T GIVE YOUR WORK AWAY to a prestigious, for-profit entity that will just make more money off your work. Newbies should at least ask for crumb wages.

Interesting story, though. I had to laugh a little when I read the following exchange between freelance journalist, Nate Thayer and Olga Khazan, the Global Editor of the Atlantic Magazine.

From Nate Thayer’s blog:

 

A Day in the Life of a Freelance Journalist—2013

Here is an exchange between the Global Editor of the Atlantic Magazine and myself this afternoon attempting to solicit my professional services for an article they sought to publish after reading my story “25 Years of Slam Dunk Diplomacy: Rodman trip comes after 25 years of basketball diplomacy between U.S. and North Korea”   here http://www.nknews.org/2013/03/slam-dunk-diplomacy/ at NKNews.org

From the Atlantic Magazine:

On Mar 4, 2013 3:27 PM, “olga khazan” <okhazan@theatlantic.com> wrote:

Hi there — I’m the global editor for the Atlantic, and I’m trying to reach Nate Thayer to see if he’d be interested in repurposing his recent basketball diplomacy post on our site.

Could someone connect me with him, please?

thanks,
Olga Khazan
okhazan@theatlantic.com

 From the head of NK News, who originally published the piece this morning:

Hi that piece is copy right to NK News, so please engage us mutually.
Thanks, tad

From the Atlantic:

Sure. Thanks Nate and TadI was just wondering if you’d be interested in adapting a version of that for the Atlantic. Let me know if you’d be interested.

thanks,

Olga

From me:

Hi Olga:

Give me a shout at 443 205 9162 in D.C. and I’d be delighted to see whether we can work something out.

Best,

Nate Thayer

From the Atlantic:

Sure, I’ll call you in a few minutes.

After a brief phone call where no specifics were really discussed, and she requested I email her:

Hi Olga: What did you have in mind for length, storyline, deadline, and fees for the basketball  diplomacy piece. Or any other specifics. I think we can work something out, but I want to make sure I have the time to do it properly to meet your deadline, so give me a shout back when you have the earliest chance.

best,

Nate Thayer

From the Atlantic:

Thanks for responding. Maybe by the end of the week? 1,200 words? We unfortunately can’t pay you for it, but we do reach 13 million readers a month. I understand if that’s not a workable arrangement for you, I just wanted to see if you were interested.

Thanks so much again for your time. A great piece!

From me:

Thanks Olga:

I am a professional journalist who has made my living by writing for 25 years and am not in the habit of giving my services for free to for profit media outlets so they can make money by using my work and efforts by removing my ability to pay my bills and feed my children. I know several people who write for the Atlantic who of course get paid. I appreciate your interest, but, while I respect the Atlantic, and have several friends who write for it, I have bills to pay and cannot expect to do so by giving my work away for free to a for profit company so they can make money off of my efforts. 1200 words by the end of the week would be fine, and I can assure you it would be well received, but not for free. Frankly, I will refrain from being insulted and am perplexed how one can expect to try to retain quality professional services without compensating for them. Let me know if you have perhaps mispoken.

best,

Nate

 

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10/25/2009

Editor Salaries Slump in 2009


Due to changes in the publishing trade, as previously discussed in this blog, editors’ salaries have been stymied and even decreased in some niches.

Matt Kinsman, executive editor of FOLIO magazine, has listed some editor salaries in the September 2009 issue. His article gives an insight into editors’ compensation:

By Matt Kinsman 08/27/2009

Magazine editors saw salaries rise for the most part in 2008 but they expect a significant decline of possibly 10 percent or greater in 2009, according to the 2009 FOLIO: Editorial Salary Survey, conducted by Readex Research. The mean salary for editorial directors was $89,000, with b-to-b coming out on top at $98,200 followed by consumer at $90,800 and associations at $81,300.

However, just 20 percent of editorial directors expect a salary increase in 2009. Forty-seven percent expect it to stay the same, while 31 percent expect a decrease (of that number, the majority—15 percent—say they think it will drop by 15 percent or more).

Editors and executive editors saw a mean salary of $69,500 in 2008, with association coming out on top at $74,900, followed by b-to-b at $70,600. Just 17 percent of respondents expect an increase, while 53 percent expect salaries to be flat in 2009.

The consumer side posted the largest salary among managing and senior editors at $65,400, followed by association at $56,200 and b-to-b at $55,600. Again, 53 percent of managing/senior editors expect their salaries to be flat in 2009.

New Reality?
Some respondents wondered if a changing business model could mean lower salaries long term. “Closing down print products could be smart from a cost standpoint but getting big dollars from online is a challenge, which could result in cuts in pay and staff.”

“Compensation may not change but workload will due to reduced staff,” said another. One association editor talked about a shrinking readership. “Smaller organizations are disappearing and merging companies will mean less dues money. That means less operating money in budget for salaries/bonuses.”

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