Protestia writes about Christianity Today’s (CT) recent appeal to its non-profit status following a series of arguments on Twitter. CT’s CEO Timothy Dalrymple emphasized the non-profit status of his organization, while the Protestia team questioned whether CT should be non-profit owing to a large amount of advertising revenue.
Protestia and CT have had similar arguments in the past. Much of the disagreement stemmed from perceived political differences between the two organizations.
The article continues:
Several weeks ago, TGC wrote Patrick Miller kicked up a bit of drama by criticizing Christianity Today for their top twenty most-read stores, as tracked by clicks and view count. He notes that the majority of them “center on celebrity-Christian-Drama” and wonders aloud about their strategy of generating revenue by feeding the outrage machine.
In response, Christianity Today CEO Timothy Dalrymple declined the asserted strategy, pointing out that they are accountable to their subscribers, not advertising dollars, which wouldn’t go to boost wages for their reporters anyway. He laments, “I wish our reporters were highly paid, but they’re not,” careful to note that they are “non-profit.”
While it is true that Christianity Today is a non-profit organization, their seeming appeal to poverty, exemplified by this status, is somewhat disingenuous, given information by their 990 tax records.
Christianity Today generated $10,073,165 in revenue in 2019 and paid $6,182,183 in salaries and compensation. While there is no indication of how much the reporters make, if they make anything at all, Dalrymple himself was paid $242,526 in total compensation, with other senior roles also being paid handsomely as well, ranging from $188,264 to $128,276. Not bad for a non-profit that apparently doesn’t pay their reporters.
We don’t begrudge anyone a wage or payment for their labor- far from it. Nor are we critical of any site that uses advertisement for revenue, as ours is frequently rife with them. But appealing to their non-profit status as a reflection of their poverty, or a defense of not “making a killing” through certain editorial tactics, does not follow.