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

Here’s How to Dodge the Cashier Check Scam

A short email arrived in my inbox, inquiring whether I still translate documents from German into English. I replied that I did, but didn’t pay much attention to the sender’s name, email address or the subject line: “Translator Needed ASAP.” Their reply came almost immediately: They thanked me for my quick response, and asked how […]

RIP Rashod Ollison

The National Writers Union is sad to announce the death of one of our members, Rashod Ollison. Ollison, 41, was an award-winning entertainment writer and music critic whose most recent post was at The Virginian Pilot, where he covered pop music and culture. He has also been a staff critic and feature writer for the […]

Ebony Media and CVG Fail to Pay Freelancers

New York (October 16, 2018) – Ebony Media Organization (EMO) and its parent Clear View Group (CVG) have failed to honor the terms of a February agreement with the National Writers Union (NWU/UAW) and 44 freelancer writers for about $80,000 for unpaid work that was contracted and published. The union filed a case in Cook County […]