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Freelance Fees Guide
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Welcome to the Freelance Fees Guide

NEW! Every section of the Guide is now just one click away from listings of NUJ freelances with the right skills, from the NUJ Freelance Directory. Look up the rate, find a freelance: sorted.

We are constantly revising the Guide rates: please send comments and submit rates that you have been paid in the past year. If you have not read the Guide for a while it is important that you read the introduction before going to the rates listings.

Follow the links below to go to the suggested rates for each kind of work. There you will find links to further advice.

Welcome contents:


Welcome to the online Freelance Fees Guide! It has been extensively rearranged to make it easy to use on the Web and particularly on phones and PDAs. If you have the technology, you can look up a rate wherever you are, whenever the client calls or you need a freelance.

Please read this introduction before going to the suggested rates.

Who is this guide for?

This guide is aimed primarily at freelance NUJ members working for UK publishers and other media outlets.

We hope this guide will be useful by analogy, as it were, to members working for outlets elsewhere.

NUJ members in the Republic of Ireland may wish to contact:

National Union of Journalists Irish Office
Spencer House, Spencer Row, Off Store Street
Dublin 1, Ireland
Tel: 00 353 1 817 0340

What is this guide for?

This guide is to help freelances - self-employed journalists - negotiate the best rates and conditions possible for the various kinds of work that NUJ members undertake.

Different parts of the media tend to operate around different norms. Book publishing, for example, usually pays less than national newspapers - but not, by any means, always. Some rates seem to be fairly consistent, while in some areas, such as magazines, there are huge variations between different publications.

Despite this, there are general points of which every freelance needs to be aware - how to respond to a commission, how to negotiate with a client, what "rights" are, what they mean to you, what to do about tax, and more. These aspects of freelancing - as well as what to do if things go wrong - are covered in the general advice section.

The Guide also outlines suggested minimum rates for a range of different jobs.

NUJ members with a specific query not covered in this guide should contact the Freelance Office for advice.

Comments please

This guide, which has been published regularly since 1973, has been redrafted and updated in order to ensure that the minimum fees quoted are acceptable to freelances but at the same time realistic. The rates have been drawn up via research including an open survey of NUJ members and others. If you can add to the advice or suggest changes for the next edition, please contact the editors. Ideally, do this when a thought strikes you, rather than waiting for the Fees Guide's editors to put out an appeal for help. Please also look at the Rate for the Job on and add updates to the rates as you come across them.

If you find broken links or typos, please email us, pasting in the sentence that contains the error and the address of the page it occurs on. Thank you.


NUJ members who need to know what rates were suggested in previous editions of this Guide - for example in chasing payment for past unauthorised use of their work - should contact the Freelance Office.

§ See: General advice index

§ See: Rates index

§ See: Accessibility hints on text size, screen readers etc


The Freelance Fees Guide is designed and tested for use on mobile devices. This also means that it should also be ideally configured for accessibility, including screen reader programs.

Text size

We strongly recommend that users who need to enlarge text on any website install either the free Mozilla (FireFox) web browser or the equally free Opera web browser program. See links below.

In recent Windows versions of either of these, hold down the Ctrl key and hit the + key to increase the text size. (On a Mac, hold down the Command, formerly known as Apple key, and hit +.) Repeat until large enough.

Screen readers

We have attempted to design all pages with a minimum of "clutter" - so that you hear useful content straight away.

We recommend using Firefox with "style" set to None (under the View menu, which moves all the navigational gubbins to the bottom of the page.

Feedback is very welcome - please email your comments to

Access keys?

We decided not to implement "access keys" - because of the irritation caused when they override browser program keyboard shortcuts.


We follow World Wide Web Consortium standards as far as practicable and are working toward making the Guide fully compliant. (The remaining gaps are merely technical and do not affect screen or audio presentation.)

§ See: General advice index

§ See: free FireFox browser <>

§ See: free Opera browser <>


The NUJ Freelance Fees Guide does its utmost to respect your privacy. When you visit this Guide, the site sets a "session identifier" cookie. Since these are essential to the functioning of the Freelance Fees Guide, we believe we are not required by law to ask your permission before setting them.

These cookies are accessible to - they can be "read" by - only this website. They are deleted when you close your browser (that is, the program you run on your computer or phone in order to view this website - such as Mozilla Firefox or Safari or Opera or Microsoft Internet Explorer).

Given their evanescence and our promise not to reveal any information, the risk of these cookies posing any threat to your privacy is "vanishingly small" - as physicists say when describing the odds on a whirlwind in a junkyard accidentally assembling a working metropolitan railway.

What are ‘cookies’ and should you worry?

Cookies are small files stored on your computer. Each contains:

When one of these persists, the next time you visit a site that has permission to read it, the program running that site can refer back to your previous visits. This kind of information on your web travels is of value to advertisers and possibly others.

As described above, cookies set by the Freelance Fees Guide do not persist. Their expiry date is set to "At end of session".

General privacy questions: our promise

This website does everything it can to avoid collecting any other information on you or your visit.

There is, somewhere, a log of all recent visits, but we do not have access to it and it is deleted monthly or more often.

We will never reveal to any third party any information which we may have gathered, deliberately or accidentally, unless you count it being prised from our cold, dead fingers.


We have also started a glossary or vocabulary list... suggestions for further terms that need to be defined are welcome.

This is updated to 2014-03-16 19:50:00; if you have a printout, check the current version at

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.