Monthly Archives: August 2013

Has the news biz come to this? Freelance journalists required to sign document forbidding writing anything negative about employers or advertisers?

A freelancer has been asked to sign away her rights to criticize the company she will write for — including all their contractors, clients, etc. She sees the ridiculousness of this — who exactly are we talking about anyway? — and asks Nate Thayer to comment…


Has the state of the news biz come to this? Freelance journalists required to sign document forbidding writing anything negative about employers or advertisers before being payed unlivable wage.

Freelance journalist not only asked to work for unlivable wages, but now required to sign away constitutional rights and fundamental ethical journalistic obligations, forbidden to say or write anything negative about their employers or advertisers?

August 21, 2013

An email exchange today between me and a freelance journalist requesting advice, comment, and suggestions after receiving the contract terms for her to write, still on a freelance basis, for a major U.S. news outlet which demanded she sign an agreement which demands she “cannot criticize, ridicule or make any statement” that “which disparages or is derogatory of XXXXXXX, or any of its officers, directors, agents, associates, consultants, contractors, clients, customers, vendors, suppliers or licensees.”

All comments from anyone who has had a similar…

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Myths about freelancing and the IRS

Deb McAlister has written a white paper called called Taxing Questions: What Makes a Writer or Blogger a Professional, and from her description, it behooves freelance writers to at least take a look. There have been a lot of changes in the last couple of years, both to the tax code and to the types of freelance writers that are trying to make a living, and it’s important to know what you’re doing when it comes to dealing with the IRS.

In the blog, Deb lists a few myths about taxes & freelancers, such as:

Myth # 2: Deducting the cost of your home office is difficult because of all the records you have to keep, and it’s sure to trigger an audit. (Wrong. For 2013, there’s a new flat-rate deduction that requires far less paperwork and there’s no longer a clear link between an audit and the home office deduction.)

You can read the rest of the myths, and find a link to the white paper, at her blog, which is called Marketing Where Technology Intersects Life.

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August 19, 2013 · 6:56 pm

The check is rarely in the mail: The dark side of freelance journalists trying to get paid for their work

As with all freelancers, I had similar issues. I just wish that I had the chutzpah that Nate Thayer has; my immediate instinct is to complain politely, and it’s likely I wouldn’t have gotten paid under the same circumstances.


The check is rarely in the mail: The dark side of freelance journalists trying to get paid for their work

By Nate Thayer

August 6, 2013

There is only one thing more frustrating to freelance journalists than being asked by for profit companies to work for free.

That is being forced to spend months fighting, arguing, begging, threatening, cajoling, and renegotiating to, if you are lucky, actually get paid a portion of the compensation you were promised for the work you have already done.

Every freelance journalist, photographer, musician and creative artist on the planet knows exactly this scenario–how unethical, debilitating, frustrating, and sometimes humiliating this, routinely, is part of the everyday cadence of freelancers who make a living practicing their craft.

Here is a portion of the latest example of my being forced to divert my attention today from writing for a living to trying to get paid for…

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