covid-19: see advice in the Freelance


This "general" section of the Freelance Fees Guide offers a wealth of advice for freelance journalists. Much of it applies to all freelances: we also provide a separate section with advice that is specific to photographers.

The National Union of Journalists publishes this guide to help freelances - self-employed journalists - negotiate the best rates and conditions possible for the various kinds of work that NUJ members undertake.

Being a freelance offers freedom to those who choose it - but also responsibility for tasks that employed journalists can leave to their employers, from negotiating contracts to dealing with government bureaucracies.

The sections listed below offer advice on working as a freelance journalist.

Advice for all freelance journalists
* Getting your money: An invoice - defined
* Rights and why they are important: Moral rights
* Rights and why they are important: Responding to rights grabs
* Rights and why they are important: Collecting societies pay for copying
* Rights and why they are important: Public Lending Right
* Rights and why they are important: Syndication and spin-off rights
* Rights and why they are important: Shift payments and copyright
* Rights and why they are important: Registering a work in the US
* Tracking down pirates: Effective searching for text
* Tracking down pirates: Finding photos and illustrations
* Tracking down pirates: Once you have found a rip-off...
* Tracking down pirates: Locating website owners
* Tracking down pirates: Getting remedies
* Tracking down pirates: Takedown
Advice tailored for photographers
* Negotiating rates and rights: Search fees
* Copyright: Moral rights
More advice and links...
* Glossary of terms and categorisations
* Uploaded 15/08/2222: if you have a printout, check the current version at
* Rates for the Job good, bad and ugly
* Join the NUJ to get individual advice & representation

Text © Mike Holderness & previous contributors; Moral rights asserted. The collection (database right) © National Union of Journalists. Comments to please. You may find the glossary helpful.

The National Union of Journalists must not, can not and would not wish to dictate rates or terms of engagement to members or to editors. The information presented here is for guidance and as an aid to equitable negotiation only.

Suggestions apply to contracts governed by UK law only. In any event, nothing here should be construed as legal advice.