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

Keeping Tabs on Who Pays Writers

If you’re a freelance journalist, particularly one who writes for the web a lot, then chances are you’ve heard of Who Pays Writers? If you haven’t, let me catch you up.  Who Pays Writers? was started in 2012 as a Tumblr blog, where writers were invited to anonymously post rates they were paid by various […]

World Press Freedom Day at the UN

The National Writers Union (NWU), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Communications Coordination Committee for the United Nations (CCCUN) and Metro NY Labor Communications Council (MNYLCC) organized a panel discussion May 3 for World Press Freedom Day. Held at the United Nations in New York City, the event explored the media’s role in supporting human rights […]

Tax Tips for Writers

NWU member and tax accountant Therese Francis spoke at a recent NorCal event. These are points she covered in her talk on taxes for writers: Think like a business, look like a business, be seen as a business and, most of all, take advantage of tax laws for businesses. The IRS recognizes two types of […]