Thursday, May 31, 2012

Best Practices Guide for the Magazine Industry

Image source: Canadian Magazines, cover of the 2008 Respect and Remuneration study

At last. A draft of a Best Practices Guide (download the draft) for the Canadian magazine industry has been developed to address the various obligations writers, editors and publishers have to one another.

I'm sure every editor or publisher can describe a misunderstanding or disagreement with a writer, and the same goes for every writer. I've heard plenty from both sides and have had my own share of grievances. Part of the problem is that we're not all on the same page. This guide will help to clarify how we should treat one another and make clear that things like contracts, copyright, timely payment and reasonable working conditions are not afterthoughts, but should be part of every exchange between a magazine and a contributor.

This guide aims to provide that "same page" for everyone to work from so there are fewer misunderstandings and disagreements, or at the very least, to provide some basis for discussion.

Please take the time to review the draft and give your feedback to edickson[at]magazinescanada[dot]ca or by commenting on the Canadian Magazines blog.

For any of you going to MagNet, you can also participate in the session Yes, We Can All Just Get Along (WR2, Wednesday June 6, 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.)

The hope is that the guide, once finalized, will be adopted like the advertising-editorial guidelines were, and act as a set of agreed professional standards. Of course, there will always be exceptions, but at least we will have something to reference, to know that we are in fact making one.

--Colleen Seto