[UPDATED] Freelance writer says he was stiffed by The Daily

UPDATE: Robert Johnson reports Tuesday morning that he got an email from Dow Jones Accounts Payable late Monday with “the details of the payment being deposited in your account on 01/08/2013.”


On November 26, The Daily published freelancer Robert Johnson’s story, “Iran’s Speed Demons.”

One week later, Rupert Murdoch & Co. announced they were pulling the plug on the iPad publication.
Johnson wonders if they also decided then to stop paying their freelancers. He’s tried hard to get the money he’s owed, but News Corp. is ignoring him.

On December 24, Johnson told me that the Daily’s parent had blown off “four promised payments” for the story. He wrote then: “I’ve been in consistent contact with the offices there and now someone I know who left tells me, there’s little chance I’ll get the $640 ($1 per word) I’m owed.”

Before the company went silent, Johnson received these emails from The Daily’s Chamandeep Kaur (she worked in the finance department):

December 7

Just spoke with A/P, looks like this voucher should have been paid three days ago but just got held up in the system. They will initiate payment in the next payment cycle, which should be Monday. I apologize for the delay!

December 11



Robert, it appears your payment is on hold by News Corp. I was not given specific details but your invoice has been fully processed, they are just performing some routine checks before they release payment. I will follow up again with them tomorrow to see if they can take the hold off of it. Apologize for the delay.

December 14

Robert, our team will still be working past close to tie up loose ends. [The Daily folded on Dec. 15.] Anyway, just spoke with legal. They were able to clear you to get paid finally. Your payment will run in our next payment cycle next Monday or Tuesday.

But Johnson — Business Insider’s military and defense editor — never received the money. He then sent this email:

From: Robert Johnson
Date: Mon, Dec 24, 2012 at 9:12 AM
Subject: Re: No payment again Monday or Tuesday
To: Kaur, Chamandeep
Cc: Parasimo, Laura

Respectfully, I believe my patience on this is beyond question. I have asked for the number of the person who does have the ability to release payment and I ask for that number again



The story ran a month ago following reporting done in September. Payment has eclipsed The Daily, and now leads into the holidays.

Working with contributors and freelancers myself for an audience of 26 million readers, I understand delays can happen, but this is beyond acceptable.

Please respond with the name and office of the person responsible for payment.


They never responded.

Johnson tells me this morning that he’s still waiting to get paid for the November piece. Kaur and Parasimo have yet to respond to emails I sent this morning. (I also left a voicemail for Kaur.)

Are you a freelancer who’s still waiting for a check from The Daily? Please email me with details.