Journalism Division

The Journalism Division includes freelance journalists of all types; from stringers to feature writers to editors; for both print and the web. Freelancers in the digital age have seen their rates plummet. In the early days of writing for the web, writers bought the argument that readers demanded their content for free and the platforms were having trouble monetizing it. This is no longer the case. The revenue streams for digital content have grown over the last fifteen years while the rates that writers earn have mostly stagnated. A generation of writers have come of age believing that their writing is worth ten cents, five cents a word – many have even agreed for years to write for free in exchange for “exposure.” Our mission is to bring together freelance writers so that we can marshal our collective knowledge and financial resources to challenge this status quo. We need to research and define new standards for freelance journalism in the digital age and to promote and enforce those standards among our peers. We can have an impact, but we need you to join us. Our dues can help fund larger national initiatives to raise standards, but more importantly our members’ knowledge can help us map out the strategy and tactics it will take to win. Join the NWU Journalism Division today and get involved!

There are links on the right-hand side of this page for joining our Journalism Division Email List and for purchasing IFJ and NWU Press Passes. 

Freelancer Agreements

NWU has written agreements with a number of publications that detail standards and procedures for their freelance writers. For more information on these agreements follow the links below: 

The Nation

In These Times

Jacobin Magazine

Latest Division News

International Solidarity: NWU at the IFJ 30th World Congress

As the sun set over the capital of Tunisia, some 300 journalists from around the world – all members of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) – marched down the Rue des Etats Unis and cried out: “Solidarite.” In their hands they held paper flags emblazoned with the faces of slain journalists – comrades who […]

Conference Seeks to Bolster Global Worker Rights

The International Labor Organization (ILO) renewed a Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work on June 21 in Geneva, Switzerland. The event coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Conference, where the organization adopted a new international Convention against violence and harassment at work, while vowing to hold governments accountable for violations. Sharan Burrow, general […]

Reception for the NWUSO Legal Action Fund

In 2018, the National Writers Union collected more than $200,000 for almost 150 unpaid freelancers by waging Group Non-Payment Grievances. Most of these were settled directly and with the assistance of the UAW Legal Department , some had to go to court. All of the unpaid freelancers were paid 100% of what they were owed. […]