Writers’ Pay

Writers come together to advocate for their livelihoods.

Stella Becerril and Dave Turner photo Gary Schoichet

The National Writers Union (NWU) is committed to establishing a living wage for all freelance writers. Working without pay should not be the expectation of online publications – or online writers.  As the nation’s most popular blog, the Huffington Post sets the status quo for other online publications. The NWU is committed to fighting for fair pay for freelance writers. In 2011, National Writers Union launched the Pay The Writer! campaign to establish fair pay rates for freelance journalists working for the Huffington Post and other online publications. On October 11, NWU held a national event, a live-streamed panel discussing the future of online freelance journalism (video of the event is available here). In 2014, NWU affirmed its solidarity with Who Pays Writers?an anonymous, crowdsourced list of which publications pay freelance writers, and how much. Read some advice for writers from Manjula Martin of Who Pays Writers?

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 We will continue to organize around these principles:

  • Freelance journalists working for for-profit, multi-million dollar online publications should get paid.
  • If you cover the news for anybody, you should get paid;
  • If you take on assignments, with an editor, you should get paid.
  • Occasional contributions by writers, educators or activists who are promoting a book or a cause could be unpaid and that fact should be acknowledged at the end of the article.
  • Frequent and regular contributors should be paid.

Writers create more than content. We create value and wealth. Working without pay should not be the expectation of online publications – or online writers.  Quality journalism must be justly compensated. Today we are in touch with hundreds more writers than we were when we started, and some are joining NWU. Our Twitter handle comes out of the Pay The Writer campaign, and it reflects one of our most fundamental values. Follow us @PayTheWriter