Change isn’t always easy, or desired. But it’s often necessary. Over the years, NEWSREP had many contributors come and go. A lot of our readers and subscribers often expressed confusion about why a certain writer is no longer with the site. To answer that type of question isn’t easy. It involves a lot of variables that are often unique and personal to each writer.
We have generally left it alone—until now.
NEWSREP is unique in that we encourage our writers to actively engage in the comments section, giving new life to their articles and, in many ways, enhancing the experience for everyone. This helps us build a solid community, but sometimes it creates issues with writer turnover.
With some of the misinformation floating around on social media and various online channels, I’m going to attempt to set the record straight. Some of the questions below are based on a few things I’ve read online. If you have additional questions or comments, sound off in the comment section below. As our subscribers, we value your input.
At the end of the day, NEWSREP remains true to our initial intent. We’re a group of primarily veterans interested in writing about world news and other topics with an overwhelmingly unbiased approach compared to the mainstream media. While our team of writers has ebbed and flowed over the years, our content has largely remained the same. Last year we expanded beyond strictly military-related news, but that’s still at the core of our regular content.
Q: Why is my favorite writer _____ no longer with the site? What do you mean by “business decisions”?
A: The answer varies depending on the individual. Over the years, some contributors left because they were burned out on writing or had lost their enjoyment of it. The pace is difficult to keep up with. Not everyone has the capacity to write the volume of stories we require. No issues there.
Others left because they had opportunities to take jobs (sometimes even writing gigs) with different companies, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We all have to do what’s best for our families and ourselves.
Other contributors were let go because we have to work within a budget. When the number of contributors swells to a large amount of paid writers, as it has at times, we’re forced to cut back and retain only the highest-performing writers. It isn’t a fun part of the job, but the company has to stay within its means.
In other cases over the years, contributors were experiencing rough patches in their lives where they were being consumed by drugs and/or alcohol, which had an effect on their performance. We had to let them go when it was clear they weren’t interested in getting help.
Other contributors, as time would tell, simply didn’t have sufficient writing skills. In some cases, it required hours of extra work just to make their articles presentable. On the other hand, some quality writers weren’t good about figuring out what the NEWSREP audience wanted to read. Virtually no one read their articles, while other writers were generating insane amounts of traffic. Still, in many cases, we allowed contributors to keep writing about subjects we knew wouldn’t generate a ton of traffic because their topics were important and needed to be covered.
Other writers were busted for outright plagiarism, which is an automatic fireable offense that we take seriously.
Regardless of the circumstances that led to NEWSREP parting ways with a writer over the years, some left on good terms and others left with grudges. As an editorial team, we can’t control either of those outcomes. We have a business to run and due to all of the reasons I listed—among others—we regularly have to make tough decisions about staff changes. Our editorial standards are high, and there’s a reason we’ve been around for as long as we have, despite all the backlash that we often receive from some members within the veteran community.
Q: Why don’t you guys tell us why a writer leaves? We just figure it out when we notice they aren’t publishing new articles.
A: Truthfully, the primary reason NEWSREP doesn’t do this is because it’s the writer’s personal business to share if they see fit. Whether they left on good terms or bad, we never initiate the public airing of their personal business. If you want to know why a former writer is no longer with us, you should ask them directly. Just keep in mind that you’re getting their side of the story. Maybe it’s true, maybe it isn’t. Regardless, it’s not our place to air their laundry.
That being said, a select few former “fan favorite” writers have an open invitation to contribute with us if they’re ever inclined to do so and we have room within our hiring budget. They know who they are.
Q: Why are you guys only publishing a fraction of the content that you had until last month?
A: NEWSREP pays writers for content. There are some pro bono articles that guest contributors provide from time-to-time, but we rely largely on a small staff of paid freelance writers and prefer quality over quantity. When we re-organize our staff, the volume of articles fluctuates.
That being said, as we complete this latest reorganization in the coming weeks, the level of content will increase.
When the site first started, we published far fewer articles per week than we currently do. The perception of the amount of content available is all predicated on how long you’ve been on the site. Anyone who’s been around for longer than a year knows how the publishing schedule fluctuates. We try to target five to six articles per day (more whenever possible), and we’re back on track to reach those numbers.
To conclude, I’ve been with Hurricane Group in some capacity since 2016. I was a full-time writer for then-SOFREP (before the name change), then a pro bono freelancer, a paid part-time freelancer, managing editor for NEWSREP, and now editor-in-chief for all editorial sites within the company. Although the changes have sometimes been difficult, I can attest to the fact that I’ve never been mistreated—unlike some of the accusations from others on social media.
The truth hurts. In reality, the people out there shouting the loudest about how much they hate Brandon Webb and “the company” are generally the ones who were fired for not performing, to put it mildly. It seems to be difficult to accept that they’re no longer with the company because they didn’t do a good job. Now they’re looking to blame someone because it just can’t be their own fault. The ones who are quiet and go about their business generally left on mutually good terms, and have no fight to pick.
When you see bitter people—some never even employed by us—bashing our team of writers, our readership community, and the future of our site, ask yourself what their motive and personal track record is. If they used to write for us, ask why they’re no longer with the company. There’s a reason.