NUJ condemns freelances' poor pay

Pay rates for freelance media professionals have plummeted to shockingly low levels – and the situation is getting worse, according to the National Union of Journalists.

The daily rate for reporters on some regional newspapers was as low as £60 – a fee offered by Metro regional, while sub-editors at many Trinity Mirror and Newsquest titles fared marginally better at £85 to £90.

According to the Union study, carried out to mark Saturday’s Pay in the Media Summit, rates at The Chichester Observer have sunk to just £25.

Yet the deterioration of freelance fees is even worst for photographers, whose work for regional clients can earn as little as £12.50 for an image (Yeovil Express) or £60 a day (Brighton Argus).

The pay decline is as evident on the nationals, where rates at The Times have slipped £5, whereas at the Daily Star and News of the World they have stagnated.

For all the broadsheet coverage on inflation, there has been complete neglect of increasing cost at The Daily Telegraph and the Guardian, which have both increased half-day rates over the last 10 years by just £10 and £15 respectively.

The NUJ condemned the lacklustre increases in rates, particularly in light of the ever-increasing costs of equipment, the rising price to e-format a photograph and the burden of financing a car, which collectively freelance workers have to fund independently.

“These pay figures are a disgrace to the companies that pay them and an insult to the professionals who are struggling to live on them,” said John Toner, NUJ’s freelance organiser.

“We will not allow freelances to be the poor relation in an industry that already pays its staffers badly.”

Evidence obtained by the Union, suggests a freelance reporter earning £120 a day would really only be on £7,000 a year in salary, after overheads and lack of benefits are factored in.

Reflecting on the figures, Jeremy Dear, general secretary, said the way freelance media workers are being treated is “despicable.”

“These are highly skilled people that the media industry relies upon heavily and is hugely indebted to.

“The NUJ is putting freelances’ plight at the top of our agenda and we are going to work tirelessly to stop this cynical exploitation. effets secondaires du kamagra qu'est ce que le kamagra gel There is no place for a two-tier workforce in our profession. We will not stand for freelances being paid a second-class rate for doing a top-class job.”


21st November 2005

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