Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Reader's Digest agrees to a new, improved freelancers' pay grid

[This post has been updated] Credit where it is due: the Canadian Writers Group (CWG) has negotiated a new pay grid with Reader's Digest Magazines Canada Ltd. that pays freelancers on a sliding scale based on their experience and how labour intensive a story is. The agreement, reported in Storyboard, a joint website of the CWG and the Canadian Media Guild, also provides an extra fee for reprints in foreign editions of RD.
CWG has about a dozen of its clients doing work for RD and Best Health. [Update: The agreement was negotiated on behalf of those clients, RD is apparently using it for other writers as well. The grid agreement only applies to CWG clients, though negotiated changes  in spring 2010 got its clients exemption from some clauses to the wider RD draft freelance contract, such as limiting the amount of damages a writer could be made responsible for if someone sued over a story and won to four times the original story fee.That contract is reported to be being sent to some other freelancers, as well as CWG clients.]
Reader's Digest is Canada's largest circulation magazine and, as such, its leadership in this matter may point the way out of obduracy that has characterized other leading publishers in their dealings with their freelance contributors.
[See comment below; the new managing editor of RD says that the grid negotiated by CWG applies to all its freelance arrangements.]

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Anonymous Dominique Ritter said...

All of our contributors benefit from the same terms and conditions regarding rights and payment structure based on the different types of editorial services we commission. The CWG fee grid was created to streamline our negotiations with their multiple clients. We're pleased to be working with CWG and we're happy to extend the same benefits to all of our writers.

-Dominique Ritter
Managing Editor, Reader's Digest

5:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paying writers according to their experience? Sounds anti-meritocratic to me. We already have far too many "experienced" freelancer writers in the Canadian magazine business who should have been directed to the Tim Horton's job fair far earlier in their careers.

10:32 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Credit where credit's due: Before he was chewed up and spit out by the Reader's Digest mill, Derek Webster balanced the scales for writers who had been paid poorly for years because big co.'s could get away with it. Well done, Derek, regardless of who tries to take credit for it...

3:56 pm  

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