"Everyone's low-balling." You just described the state of the media industry worldwide. Sigh. Okay, I'll take your advice, delete any pictures of Uncle Wang at my bar mitzvah from my Facebook account, and try affect a posh accent to lend credence to my claims. One final question, if you don't mind: Is there a local resource for rates for editing, copywriting, features, etc - per hour and per word? If this negotiation goes in the proverbially tits-upwardly direction, there's always the big, bad, awful, sobbing-into-one's-pillow-at-night-in-fear world of freelancing.