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

POTENTIAL BLOW TO UNIONISM

In June, the Supreme Court will make an important decision regarding unionism when it rules on Friedrichs vs. the California Teachers Association. The case stands to reverse a 40-year precedent established in the 1977 case of Abood vs. the Detroit Board of Education. That ruling established public-sector unions’ right to collect “fair-share fees” from all […]

John Ross: Journalists Should Be Rebels

Reporter and poet John Ross viewed journalism not as a profession but as a moral responsibility. In a posthumously published series of his lectures, REBEL REPORTING: John Ross Speaks to Independent Journalists, he asserts that journalists have an obligation to speak truth to power. Wisconsin NWU member Norman Stockwell co-edited this collection with journalist and […]

‘Freelance Isn’t Free’ Bill Introduced

NEW YORK — December 7, 2015 — About 80 freelancers gathered on the City Hall steps in support of a bill introduced in the New York City Council that would protect freelancers against non-payment. The #FreelanceIsn’tfree Act would penalize clients who refuse to pay freelancers within 30 days, and would subject them to double damages, […]