Nate Thayer | James Bennet
Editor-in-Chief James Bennet would like you to know this recent dustup -- over asking a freelancer to provide free Web content
-- isn't how The Atlantic normally operates.
Freelance writer Nate Thayer posted to his blog Monday an email exchange between himself and an Atlantic editor, who wanted to see if Thayer would "repurpose" a recent article into a shorter version for the Atlantic website. For free.
Atlantic editor Olga Khazan wrote, in part: "We unfortunately can’t pay you for it, but we do reach 13 million readers a month. ... I am out of freelance money right now, I enjoyed your post, and I thought you’d be willing to summarize it for posting for a wider audience without doing any additional legwork. Some journalists use our platform as a way to gain more exposure."
Thayer stridently refused: "I have bills to pay and cannot expect to do so by giving my work away for free to a for profit company so they can make money off of my efforts. ... Frankly, I will refrain from being insulted and am perplexed how one can expect to try to retain quality professional services without compensating for them."