>Sponsors for stories?

>A correspondent asked me about a situation in which an editor said he would publish his story—without pay–if he found a sponsor to cover half the cost. Is this something he should consider? I told him to back away from this unethical editor. Freelancers should not pay a cent to have their stories published; the publishers should pay them.

There may be special types of publications where stories are done on some sort of co-op basis, but a reputable paper doesn’t do that. Times are tough, but not that tough.

I would admit that the line between editorial and advertising is fuzzier than it used to be. Look at all those “special sections” that seem to have articles about a particular business on one page and ads for that same business on the opposite page. It’s sleazy but profitable. Advertising definitely pays the bills, but should the freelance writer get involved in this? I don’t think so.

How do you feel about it? Has anyone else out there been asked to chip in or find a sponsor before a story would be accepted? If so, what did you do and how did it turn out?

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