Q&A Friday #54: What About Your Column With Human Events?

Question: John, my question is about your work with Human Events. You have a weekly column (usually on wednesdays, apparently thursday this week), that much I know. What I am curious about is what kind of constraints do you have on your writing? Do you choose the subject of each column completely on your own? Does your editor give a topic, or a list of topics from which to choose? Does HEO maintain any kind of rights over the material you submit to them (for instance, if you wrote a column that they edited down in a way you didn’t like, would you be free to post the article, as you wrote it, on RWN)? I know this is a lot of questions, but they all come down to the same issues of, “how does the arrangement work?” — Chris_RC

Answer: Let’s see, Human Events…

Originally, I got a gig there when they asked me if I would be interested in writing something for them and I asked if they’d like to have me write a regular column. They answered in the affirmative, gave me a tryout period, liked what I wrote, and I’ve been writing for them ever since.

As far as the topic goes, I pick what I write about, run it by them and after they approve it, I write the column. On rare occasions, they have suggested things or requested to use something I’d already written for RWN (for example, The Conservative Case Against Rudy Giuliani In 2008).

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Theoretically, they can edit my material, but the only significant changes they’ve ever made are to titles of some of the columns.

Are far as their rights go, they can use the columns on Human Events online or in the print magazine. On my end, I can post the columns on RWN as soon as the day after they’re published on Human Events (although it usually takes me longer than that to do the update). Also, I retain full rights to my columns. I can do whatever I want with them as long as Human Events gets them first.

I get paid a fee for each column that’s published (They send me a check for 4 weeks’ worth of work roughly every month or so). I don’t want to get into how much I get paid per column for obvious reasons, but it’s enough to be worth it given what I make as a pro blogger, but still not a lot of money.

On the other hand, being with Human Events has opened some doors for me. A lot of big name conservatives that have never heard of Right Wing News have heard of Human Events and when I’m calling a congressman’s office or trying to get an interview, I always try to mention that I write for them. Furthermore, it gets my work out in front of a whole new audience and my columns have gotten me some contacts from the press and radio appearances that I would not have gotten otherwise.

So, all in all, my gig with Human Events has definitely been a big positive for me.

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