The Kill Fee is Killing Us All
Journalist Scott Carney wants to kill the kill fee:
When I came back to America I sent the best draft of the piece I could to my editor. He didn’t like it. So I rewrote it. He wanted stronger anecdotes, so I rewrote it again. Over the course of the next seven months I rewrote the draft at least 9 times from scratch looking for better angles and more powerful anecdotes. Here’s a link to my last attempt. In the end the editor, who never really gave me much useful feedback despite my endless rewrites, killed the piece. The NYTimes issued me a 25% fee as per the terms of their contract. I had spent the better part of a year working on the story.