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

What’s Ahead in 2021 from the Copyright Office and Congress?

Writers can expect further gains in U.S. Copyright Office procedures in 2021, but we may have a fight ahead in Congress to block yet another attempt to effectively revoke copyright protection for so-called “orphan works,” including those central to some NWU members’ and other writers’ livelihoods.

Defector Announces Principles for Freelancers

The Freelance Solidarity Project is excited to present a unilateral announcement with Defector’s editorial collective, which outlines a set of shared principles for freelance digital media workers. The complete document can be reviewed on Defector’s website. The document makes transparent the standards that will create an equitable, professional relationship between all kinds of digital media […]

NWU Is Seeking New Union Affiliation

Since the NWU’s decision to disaffiliate from the United Auto Workers last year, our executive committee has been working hard to find a new partner for our union as we move forward with our work to raise standards for freelance media workers. We have explored both affiliation with another large international union as well as […]