Vega is one of the lucky ones; he has since been paid the $10,000. But plenty of his fellow journalists who worked for the magazine, myself included, are still awaiting checks. More than a dozen writers, most of them black, have broadcast the company’s mistreatment of freelancers on Twitter using the hashtag #EbonyOwes, sharing stories of ignored calls and excuses from Ebony’s accounts-payable department. Fourteen such writers have enlisted the National Writers Union, an industry association representing freelance journalists, to go after Ebony to recover $30,000 the magazine owes them collectively.
Many journalists say their ordeal has been distinctly painful because of their reverence and love for the 72-year-old Ebony brand, which has struggled to retain its relevance in the digital age and among younger audiences. They suspect the publication’s new owners may be taking advantage of their loyalty to the legendary magazine. Adding insult to injury, Ebony’s Twitter account has blocked many of its unpaid writers. “This company is riding a legacy,” Vega tells CJR, “and I don’t know how long you can ride a legacy.”
From here. As a freelancer, this story is terrifying.