Thursday, April 02, 2009

Outside magazine to freelancers: “Your check is in the mail.” Yeah, next fall’s mail, maybe.

There’s a reason they call writers “ink stained wretches.” And their life grows even more wretched if they get an assignment from a once-nifty magazine called Outside.

According to Fishbowl NY, a media blog,

While paying freelancers late "has always been an Outside thing," according to one source, in conjunction with the deteriorating economic climate, "it's only gotten worse." Multiple people with intimate knowledge of the situation at Outside reported payments being sent an average of four to six months after publication, with some invoices nine to 12 months past due. One person confirms being owed more than $10,000, and sources say that's the case for other contractors, as well.

A particular point of freelancer ire is how Outside sends reporters and photographers around the world, with them fronting the cost of those trips for overly long periods of time. One person said the magazine's failure to reimburse these expenses in a timely fashion puts the writers and photographers in a difficult position, as they can have thousands of dollars on their credit cards for half a year or more. "A lot of people want to work for Outside because they send people all over the planet, but it's very expensive and freelancers expense everything," the source explained. "[Outside owner Larry Burke]'s mentality is, 'Hey, I sent you to the far reaches of the world, you should feel lucky.' You can't do business like that."
Geez, Outside, I was planning to renew my subscription. But ya know what? I’ll send in my order a year or so from now. Meanwhile, why don’t you send the magazine ahead anyway?

Trust me. I’m good for the money.

Or as good as you are.

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