Hall of Shame, Part III: The Leading Offenders

Well then! Based on the overwhelming response to our inquiries about publications that pretend you don't exist after you've poured your blood, sweat and tears into their piddling assignments, we've come up with a preliminary list of publications that should be avoided at all costs, even when their editors woo you with promises of fame, glory and on-time checks. We're still soliciting tales of woe for subsequent rounds, which you can send to the usual place. In the meantime, enjoy our list of offenders, including more Observer woes, post-jump.

  • "Teen People has owed me over $1300 since june. sure, they went under, but it's time inc — they definitely have the money. i keep calling the accounting department at time inc, and no one answers."
  • "I'm still owed money for a piece I wrote for the New York Press on an exhibit at the Whitney -over a year ago, only $50, but they obviously need it more than me."
  • "Black Book. A story I filed in May for the September issue? It's January, and I still haven't seen the check, though they've sworn to me three times (once in November, once in December, and once again just yesterday) that it had *just* been processed.... According to their payment policy, they pay 45 days after publication; which is, in itself, ridiculous, but whatever. I'm at day 130 and counting. According to another friend I have, who has written for them several times, she has never been paid by them without having to cajole and threaten and rage first."
  • "Anyone who freelances for UGO.com is asking it up the ass without vaseline-was given a line about how much money I'd be making writing for them-never saw a dime, resorted to calling NY1 on them!"
  • "New York Observer owes me too!— NYO West Coast Editor Whats-her-name told me, "We pay peanuts," and I said fine, that's more than most, but it's been more than a year and I haven't even seen peanut one!"
  • "Not sure if they've improved in the last 5 years, but CMJ's mag was notorious for never getting around to paying its writers."
  • "Re: NYO— not paying their freelancers? they cant even pay their staffers a decent wage."
  • "i was just a stringer for the AP on election night and that's only like $50, i think, of pay. they still haven't paid me."

    Earlier: Hall of Shame, Part II: The 'Observer' Doesn't Pay Anyone, It Turns Out
    Earlier: Hall of Shame: Non-Paying Pubs