Miner: Journatic offered to pay employees not to talk to reporters

Chicago Reader

On Monday the Chicago Tribune announced it would soon work with Journatic, a local "media content provider," to produce its TribLocal network. Michael Miner looks into how Journatic pays writers ($4 for stories that take about 20 minutes to write, $2 for stories that should take around 10 minutes) and quotes an email from Journatic Executive Editor Peter Behle that offers an even better way for Journatic employees to get paid:

"Reporters will be sniffing around—and they are not authorized to talk with anyone about Journatic under any circumstances. Better yet, if you receive a reporter inquiry and tell us about it (without responding), we'll pay you a $50 bonus."

Journatic estimates the average hourly rate it pays its writers to be $12/hour. Narcing out a media reporter pays better than four hours of work.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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