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

Beyond Ebonyowes

The unfortunate circumstances around EBONYOWES are no secret: Loss of income. Possibly fractured relationships with editors, and second-guessing by some about our decision to take legal action against a beloved American institution. However, the experience forced me out of my comfort zone. After I stopped writing for EBONY, I began to pitch larger publications and […]

Get to Know Us

More than 40 people joined the NWU to get grievance assistance or contract advice during the first six months of 2018. And roughly half of all members who request service—not counting group grievances—are new members. If you’re one of them, welcome to the National Writers Union!  If you joined to pursue a grievance, you may […]

A Spear in Our Side: When Police Charge Victims

After DeAndre Harris was brutally beaten by white nationalists in Charlottesville, VA, last summer, police charged the 20-year-old black man with assaulting the nationalists. Eventually he was acquitted, but this has become a pattern: Law enforcement underreporting hate crimes in America, while tacitly colluding with perpetuators by charging the victims. The impact is that those who would […]