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Longing for a freelance check

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by top_dog, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. top_dog

    top_dog New Member

    First off, have lurked on this website since 2003. I'm a big fan. This is the first time to start thread.

    Have a dilemma. Did freelance game story last April for a newspaper. Received compliments from the desk for timeliness (crazy deadline) and detail.

    But no check has been produced. Three e-mails to the sports editor (sent a month apart) have been returned with "I'll look into it" and "It should be next week."

    I know, I know. I should be more "persuasive." But it's not my style. I'm contemplating another e-mail with a carbon copy to the executive editor.

    I've done plenty of freelance work, including some of the national football/basketball preview magazines. I know about patience about getting paid, but this is getting ridiculous.

    Any advice?
  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    1) Your repeat business is what keeps this site going.
    2) If it's the only work you've done for this paper, hell yeah. Flame the SE to the EE, and tell him that after three months you should get 10 percent a month. If an ad account doesn't pay, they get charged interest. why not you?
  3. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Outline what happened to the Executive Editor and see if it gets settled. Do NOT tell them you should get 10 percent a month.

    A lot of SEs have always been lousy administrators, and things are probably worse today as people try to get by with fewer employees.
  4. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Screw that, they owe you money. You owe them nothing. Tell them you want interest.
  5. blacktitleist

    blacktitleist Member

    This happened to me a few months ago.

    I kept blasting my contact with emails until he finally responded, and then he offered me an extra $25 bucks for the hassle.

    It was about a three-month turnaround from the time I did the story.

    Bottom line is this: You did the work in a timely manner, you should be paid for it in the same manner.

    Your work is valuable, and so was the time you put into it. Keep pushing the envelope until you get your check.
  6. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Definitely go above the SE. He/she will have no motivation to get you paid. Get a name/number in accounts payable and hammer it.
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    If it's a larger paper, the sports editors would not be the ones actually issuing the check. I would ask for the person who handles that and speak to him/her directly.

    A lot of papers pay by direct deposit only these days. Is it possible that you got the money and didn't realize or that the paper doesn't issue checks any more and needs your direct deposit information to pay you?
  8. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    Send to the sports editor and cc the publisher/general manager with specifics as to the date your story appeared and the agreement you had regarding the fee for your services, telling them you've followed channels and haven't received satisfaction.
    No need to be nasty or confrontational. Simply spell it out. SE might get pissed that you went over his head but you'll get your money.
  9. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I hate to tell you this, but interest won't be coming.
  10. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Time to go to the telephone. Call the SE and give him two shots to call back, if you get voicemail or another "I'll look into it." Two or three days apart, at most. Then call the ME. Then the EE. And keep buzzing them, in voicemails if necessary but ideally getting the pinheads on the line.

    They'll soon send you a check. This happened to me with a major-market paper a few months ago. And they didn't seem embarrassed in the least by being morons in the ways of business.
  11. mediaguy

    mediaguy Well-Known Member

    Call the payroll department at the newspaper and tell them you're waiting on a check. At least then you'll know if it's gotten to them yet.

    Waiting on check from work done two months ago. Not like I need the money or anything.
  12. WoodyWommack

    WoodyWommack Member

    I lived off freelance work for almost a year and four months is a long time but it's not really that long, especially because it's only one assignment. I think you need to step up your aggression and email the SE again, but CC whoever is over him.
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