Show Me the Money
- Welcome to the world's longest Storify, in which I spout off about the issue of freelance writers being asked to work for free. This post is where it actually begins. And then.
- Although I follow Ed, I actually missed this tweet. I saw Alexis Madrigal's response, below, and knew what he was talking about, so I responded to that. I didn't see the slavery comparison until Madrigal brought it up a few tweets later, which is why I didn't comment on that part until then. But let me say up front: that really was fucking ridiculous and gross on Thayer's part. It is 2013, you guys. "Nothing is like slavery, except slavery" should not be a lesson we have to keep going over.
- He's right. And it is fair to point that out. I actually had this in mind, more than the original correspondence, but that wasn't what they were discussing when I jumped in.
- Here's the thing: I don't see Thayer's decision to publish the e-mails as a move to shame this particular young editor. I see it as a move to shame The Atlantic, as a venerable institution participating in this crap, and the industry in general. That is almost certainly a crucial difference in how we're processing this; I don't know the editor or work for her employer and thus don't feel more protective of her than any other stranger. I legitimately feel bad for her, believe it or not, because she's stuck being the poster child (this week) for an issue so much bigger than her. But, well, see below.
- (Please forgive my typos. I was writing furiously on my iPad.)
- Back to Thayer...
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