The Weekly Wrap: Writing & Freelance News

The fastest growing freelance skill. Grammarly's security issue. The 2nd most dangerous country for journalists. And more...

U.S. Freelancers Prefer PayPal

Paypal was cited as the most common method of payment for U.S. freelancers, with 70% of those surveyed in PayPal’s U.S. Freelancer Insights Report saying they use the service.

Also, 85% said PayPal is the most common method to withdraw money from freelancer platforms.

The data also found that majority of freelancer use some form of accounting software to organize payments and issue invoice. Still, half of

Did you know unpaid invoices was one of the 15 Freelance Tax Deductions?

Mexico The 2nd Most Dangerous Country For Journalists

Last year, in Mexico, journalists and photographers turned up dead at a rate of about one per month, making it the most dangerous country in the world for reporters after Syria, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Over two dozen journalists have given up their work, homes, and families trying to survive the danger that arose from their work. It’s believed that about 16 journalists are living in government safe houses.

About 15 or so have fled to other countries, many to the U.S. A few received asylum under the Obama administration. But under the Trump administration denials and prolonged detention is the norm, the article says.

It’s worth reading what some of these journalists have gone through. It’s worth considering the question they’re asking themselves—Was it worth it?

California Loses Six Bilingual Newspapers

Eastern Group Publications has pulled the plug and shut the doors on its six bilingual newspapers, which served California’s Eastside communities, largely covering underserved Latino areas.

The papers include the Eastside Sun, Montebello Comet, Vernon Sun, Northeast Sun, Bell Gardens Sun, and Commerce Comet.

It was a family business hit by the death of two chief players– a father and son. The surviving wife and mother, Dolores Sanchez began trying to sell the business last August but a buyer never came, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Gameface Vows To Pay Stiffed Freelancers

David Lavallee, CEO and co-founder of Gameface Media, admits he made a decision to stiff freelance photographers last year to keep his company afloat.

The Boston-based company relies on a network of 1,600 independent contractors to take pictures of amateur athletes, and owes many of these freelancers “a significant amount of money.”

According to Lavallee, the company recently raised $2.6 million from investors and renegotiated contracts with corporate sponsors. He expects to pay off the debt to photographers in 2018 in incremental chunks. Gameface Media also claims it’ll offer partial prepayment for future assignments, reported the Boston Globe.

Related: What to Do About an Unpaid Invoice

GoDaddy Integrates Google My Business

GoDaddy’s GoCentral website builder now has Google My Business integration.

Google My Business is a tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including on Google Search and Google Maps, Website Magazine explains.

The new integration allows website owners to access Google My Business and do things like create a business listing plus read and respond to reviews in the GoDaddy system.

Radio Free Brooklyn Boosting Voice of Artists

Non-profit Radio Free Brooklyn has partnered with Podomatic to offer a podcasting platform to artists, non-profits, and community organizers. The roster currently includes over 70 podcasts.

This partnership gives a voice to people whose voices would have been unheard in the mainstream media,” said Tom Tenney of Radio Free Brooklyn in a press release.

Albuquerque Journal Gets Backlash for Dreamers Cartoon

The Albuquerque Journal faced backlash from readers, staff, and members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation for a cartoon stereotyping dreamers.

It portrayed a terrified white couple being mugged by members of the gang MS-13 and showed a man beside them carrying bombs and a bloody knife.

The bubble from the white man said, “Now, honey, I believe they prefer to be called ‘dreamers,’ . . . or future Democrats.”

Editors from the paper have apologized. And, of course, one said the cartoon doesn’t reflect the paper’s position.

The cartoon is the work of 56-year-old Sean Delonas, a cartoonist syndicated by CargleCartoons. His work has appeared worldwide, according to the Washington Post, and this cartoon was published in the editorial section.

Dreamstime Stock Photography Passes 20 Million Users

Dreamstime, a stock photography community, announced it now has over 20 million users, 400,000 contributors, and 70 million online images.

The company redesigned its blog to appeal to designers, which includes a “robust and growing library” of how-to articles.

Dreamstime also launched a monthly blog contest. First prize is $300. Here are the details and a link to the guidelines.

Essence’s Black Women In Hollywood Recognizes 2 Writers

Essence announced the four honorees for this year’s Black Women In Hollywood Awards, which recognizes industry game-changers.

They include Lena Waithe, the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing and playwright Danai Gurira, writer of the Tony Award-winning play “Eclipsed.” Both ladies are also actresses.

Also recognized are actress/activist Tessa Thompson and comedian/actress Tiffany Haddish.

Grammarly Patches Bug Exposing Users’ Writing

Grammarly, an app that checks spelling and grammar, had a bug that reportedly allowed any website users visited to log into their account and view everything they wrote.

Initially, the news seemed to suggest the problem put all Grammarly users at risk. But Grammarly told Engadget the vulnerability only existed for documents created and saved within the Grammarly Editor interface, which is only accessible through the service’s website.

And Grammarly claims to have patched the bug before anyone was affected.

Saudi Columnist Sentenced To Prison

A Saudi Arabian court sentenced columnist Saleh al-Shehi to five years in prison for insulting the royal court, the official body that represents the king and crown prince. Once his prison stint is complete, he’ll also be subject to a five-year travel ban.

His arrest followed an appearance on the privately-owned Rotana Channel where he reportedly said that any Saudi citizen who has a contact within the royal court automatically has an advantage in buying strategically located land unavailable to the public.

Al-Shehi was a writer at the state-linked al-Watan website and has about 1.2 million Twitter followers, reported New York Post.

Boston Herald Writer Publishes Fake Tom Brady Story

Writer Ron Borges wrote a story for the Boston Herald reporting that New England quarterback Tom Brady would sit out of off-season team activities unless he got a contract on par with San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo.

Borges got the tip via text message from a person he believed was Brady’s agent. Actually, the info came from someone referred to by 247 Sports as “Nick in Boston” and the info was a hoax.

Bitcoin Fastest Growing Skill for Freelancers

Bitcoin topped the list of 20 fastest growing skills for freelancers produced by Upwork, a global freelancing community.

Amazon DynamoDB, react native, robotics, and go development round out the top five.

FYI: I recently published an article about cryptocurrencies being a hot niche for freelancers. In light of this new info, I added to list help wanted ads for cryptocurrency writers.

Billionaire Buys LA Times and San Diego Union-Tribune

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong inked a deal to buy the  Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune for approximately $500 million through his investment firm Nant Capital.

Soon-Shiong has no newspaper experience, according to the New Yorker. The South African born businessman was trained as a surgeon and made his fortune in biotech.

What’s New:

The Making Obama podcast launched February 8 with weekly episodes running through March 15.

Full-Time Media launched on Instagram on Feb 1. This travel media company “blends social-first creators, traditional personalities, and editors.” The company offers newsletters with in-depth coverage of global destinations.

And that’s your Weekly Wrap folks.

If you have something you think should appear in an upcoming edition, use the form below. If you have something you want to say about what you’ve read, go for it in the comments section. Til next week!

 

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