Freelance editorial staff waiting on ad uplift

It is not just those professionals who are put in charge of the money who can finally return to rubbing their hands together at the sight of bigger spending pots for advertising.

Journalists, whose salaries stem from their publisher’s ad takings, could also do with feeling the trickle-down effect, assuming advertisers keep to their word and spend more in 2010.

That’s because, on top of anecdotal evidence of journalists’ rates moving every direction but upwards since 2004, the many freelancers at news agencies are also feeling the pinch.

Blogging for the Guardian, Roy Greenslade reflected: “Life has become increasingly perilous for news agencies. Freelance rates have declined in real terms, and often in absolute terms.”

One talented reporter, formerly at the Daily Mirror, has even started accepting rates as low as £30, he wrote, making the costs of phone interviews for his average story almost prohibitive.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail picture desk was said to be paying its freelance photographers £150 a day – the same rate that the paper had them on more than 10 years ago.

The revelations ended a grim week for editorial freelancers, following the announced loss of 360 web services jobs at the BBC, due to include the closure of 70 journalism positions.


28th January 2011

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