Vice News Says ‘Weak Spots’ Do ‘Need Fixing’ in Treatment of Freelancers

By Mark Joyella 

Vice News has promised to change the way it works with freelance journalists after several freelancers accused Vice of mistreatment.

“Vice and freelancers depend on each other, so when a freelancer is working with Vice, that freelancer should be treated with the respect as if he or she is a Vice employee,” writes Ciel Hunter, Vice head of content in a memo obtained by the Columbia Journalism Review, which published a first-person account written by a Vice freelancer who said “never had I felt this utterly taken advantage of.”

In the memo, Vice notes that it has recently hired a payroll company to handle payments to freelancers, and made new hires in its accounts payable department “which has resulted in substantial improvements in how quickly and accurately freelancers get paid.”