Weekly Wrap: Freelance And Creative News

As a heads up, jobs won’t be posted in The Weekly Wrap anymore. They’ll be published separately on Fridays. This week’s list is here.

Got it? Cool! Moving on…

Mexican Journalist Murdered

Hector Gonzalez Antonio, a journalist who wrote about politics and violence in the state of Tamaulipas, was found dead on a dirt path in Ciudad Victoria.

His shirt and pants were soaked with blood.  He was wearing one shoe. And it appears he was beaten to death. Police are said to be investigating.

Antonio is the third reporter killed in Mexico in the past two weeks and the sixth killed in the country this year, according to the New York Post.

2 Journalists Killed Covering Storm

WYFF, an NBC station in Greenville, SC, lost news anchor Michael McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer. The men were killed by a falling tree in North Carolina while covering the subtropical storm Alberto.

Russian Journalist Faked Death

On Tuesday, media reports made their way around the world reporting that Arkady Babchenko, a Russian journalist and critic of President Putin, was shot in the back in his apartment in Kiev, Ukraine.

According to reports, his wife was in the bathroom when she heard the shot and came out to find her husband on the floor. Babchenko reportedly died on the way to the hospital.

At a news conference the next day, journalists were expecting updates on the murder, when Babchenko showed alive. He said Ukrainian security forces faked his death after catching wind of an assassination plot ordered by Russia. $40,000 had reportedly exchanged hands to have Babchenko eliminated.

Babchenko apologized to his wife, who apparently wasn’t privy to the scheme. And despite the backlash, Ukrainian authorities are considering the operation a success since two people have been arrested in connection with the alleged assassination plot, CNN reported.

Babchenko fled Russia in 2017 due to threats against him and his family. In Ukraine, he hosts a political talk show and writes op-eds. He uses both platforms to continue criticizing Russia, the KYIV Post says.

Freelancer Claims Fox Used Video Without Consent

Max Robinson, a freelance photographer, was in the midst of the flood in Ellicott City, MD on Sunday. He captured photos and video of the devastation as it was occurring, and he posted some of it on Twitter.

One of his photos was used by the New York Times. And Fox News reportedly asked to use one of his videos. Robinson said no, but Fox used it anyway, including it in a video montage they sent out from their Twitter account.

When Robinson found out, he got on Twitter and put Fox on blast, saying:

“So you guys gonna pay me for the video I told you you couldn’t use or did Bill O’Reilly’s wandering dick tap you out…” (See the tweet)

According to The Baltimore Sun, Fox claims they got the video from Associated Press Television News and they have a right to use it. Robinson said he has contacted an intellectual property attorney about a potential lawsuit.

And I say, if it’s true, and Fox helped themselves to his video, I hope they end up having to cut him an obese check.

Jersey City Aiming for Freelance Law

Speaking of freelancer rights…

The city council in Jersey City, NJ took a step forward on an ordinance that would require contracts for freelancers and give them certain legal protections. It would apply to arrangements where freelancers earn $500 or more in a 120-day period.

They’re hoping to replicate New York City’s freelance law, says NJ.com.

If you missed how the NYC freelance law has helped freelancers, catch up here.

500px And Getty Images Ink A Deal

Getty Images and 500px signed an exclusive distribution partnership that will give Getty customers access to 500px content as of July 1.

Getty has over 300,000 million images and this deal will allow them to expand their portfolio by millions more.

500px  will continue to represent their photographers, and they say this partnership will help those contributors expand their reach and sales by giving them a broader customer base.

This announcement comes after 500px was acquired by Visual China Group. Under the terms of the agreement, Getty will have exclusive global distribution rights for 500px and VCG will be the exclusive distribution partner in China.

If you’re a 500px contributor or a Getty Images user, please feel free to air your thoughts in the comments section.

Edwards Brothers Malloy Closing Down

Edwards Brothers Malloy, one of the U.S.’ largest independent book and journal printers, will close down by June 15, the company announced Thursday.

Although Publisher’s Weekly didn’t give a specific reason, they did report that in 2012, the company had annual sales of about $115 million but in recent years sales have slipped to under $100 million.

Quirk Now Publishes Graphic Novels

Quirk Books, a publisher based in Philadelphia, is now publishing graphic novels. The company kicked off this new thing in May with the release of Manfried the Man by Caitlin Major and Kelly Bastow.

The company has two more graphic novel titles planned for release this year and four in the pipeline so far for 2019. The goal is for our list to be made up of approximately 25% graphic novels, says Quirk’s vice president and director of publicity and marketing.

Quirk’s president, Brett Cohen, says the change is logical because they view their audience as a “bookish subset of ComicCon,”  and they sell books at ComicCon, reported Publishers Weekly.

Saycaster Launches Interactive Podcasting Platform

Saycaster’s interactive podcast platform is open to the public, and it’s free. It allows podcasters to pin links, tweets and comments to specific spots in their audio.

Saycaster is still in beta, and, according to founder Marcus Scott, there are more features on the horizon.

The Los Angeles-based company tested the beta platform with local podcasters. “The feedback from the community so far has been overwhelmingly positive and they all say it’s the first of kind they have been involved with,” says Scott in a press release.

What J.K. Rowling Is Up To

J.K. Rowling has finished Lethal White, the fourth Galbraith novel. Now she’s working on the screenplay Fantastic Beasts 3.

Once that’s done, she plans to write a children’s book that she’s been tinkering with for about six years. It’s not related to Harry Potter or wizardry, she said on her website. 

What Else Is New?

Dear Client: Graphic Designer Bonnie Siegler advises clients how to talk so creatives will listen and how to listen when creatives talk. The book is organized into 46 lessons.

It may be interesting to find out what she’s telling them, since it could affect you and me, right?


36: A black-and-white photography book by Todd Weaver, it showcases  36 creatives in 36 frames each. Get it here


Richard Peck, a young adult novelist, died of kidney failure at age 84. He wrote over 40 books about sensitive topics, like pregnancy and suicide. The bulk of them were for fourth to seventh graders, says the New York Times.

His final novel, The Best Man, which addressed same-sex married, was published in 2016 and reportedly echoed his life more than his previous work.

Schedule It

Fridays in June: Audiobook Giveaway–Audiobooks.com will give away nearly $60,000 worth of audiobooks in celebration of June is Audiobook Month.

Giveaways begin at 9 a.m. and will run until 500 audiobooks are redeemed. Here’s a list of the free titles and more details.

June 7: Mind of Art Festival #2—This is an event for artists, creatives, and talent. It was created by Rickie Williams aka LaRixkieGod, an artist and curator. He says, “Mind Of Art is church for the creators, a place where the creative mind can exist.”

It’s in New Orleans, LA. Admission is $ 5. More Info

Go For It

Comedy Screenwriting Contest

National Lampoon and Stage 32 joined forces to launch a comedy screenwriting contest. They’re looking for a script that can be made into a movie, and they’re hoping that movie can help “rechristen” the National Lampoon brand.

The submission fee is $39.99 until June 7. Then, it rises in two phases to $59.99. The prize is a $5,000 option with National Lampoon and a mentoring program with their team and network.

The final deadline is July 17. More info

And that is your Weekly Wrap folks! You are now excused to attend happy hours–Yes, plural.

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