A draft guide for best magazine practices in Canada has been created, and it will be up for discussion at the upcoming MagNet magazine conference
The Best Practices Guide: Canadian magazine publishing, editing and writing
is a result of a joint initiative (that started in 2008) of the Professional Writers' Association of Canada (PWAC), Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME) and Magazines Canada.
The guide states that a survey early in the process revealed that writers "collectively perceived a lack of respect for their skills, a failure to acknowledge and protect their intellectual property rights, inadequate levels of appropriate compensation and insufficient recognition of freelancers' significant role in the long-term health of the Canadian magazine industry."
Here are some highlights of the guide regarding obligations of magazine publishers:
- Recognize the compensation for writers should adequately reflect the future earnings of freelance material either through a lump sum or in lieu or an agreed payment of royalties or fees for subsequent rights that impart added value
- Deal with fees owing to writers as for any other professional service and ensure that writers and other contributors receive prompt payment for their work
- Not require writers unreasonably to relinquish their copyright (and then only with appropriate compensation) and — recognizing the importance of reputation — not ask writers to waive their moral rights over work(s) they propose or to which they are assigned
- Endorse the industry advertising-editorial guidelines and encourage their editors to adhere to them
There are other sections for best practices for writers, editors, and shared obligations. For example, writers should "recognize that publishers cannot share revenues that they do not or will not receive".
The guide will be discussed during a session entitled Yes, We Can All Just Get Along
at MagNet on Wednesday, June 6 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. with a panel including Niel Hiscox, president of Universus Media Group; Bob Sexton, managing editor of Outdoor Canada
; and freelance journalist David Hayes. The session will be moderated by D.B. Scott, president of Impresa Communications.
The draft guide can be downloaded in advance from this page