So how is it for you?
JUST how much freelance work is disappearing? Adam Christie of the NUJ's Freelance Industrial Council is compiling a short report on this phenomenon, as an update to similar reports he has compiled, which have been cited by the NUJ widely in the continuing campaign against cutbacks in the media industry. (See a report of Adam's talk on disappearing work, and responses to it, here)
The union already has a good idea about how rates are being cut, so we really need to know about what is no longer being commissioned, whether in the media industry or elsewhere.
Sources will remain confidential. Also, if you don't want us to disclose particular titles or outlets, just say so. Knowing which groups are cutting or have cut the most commissioned work is helpful, though.
Below is a good example of the way in which you should submit data on disappearing work for this report, from a real (anonymous) freelance describing their own experiences of work disappearing in the course of one year. If you could name some of the companies you're no longer working with, even better.
- websites closed/not paying: 2
- magazines closed: 2
- newspapers closed: 1
- newspapers who've cut rates: 2
- websites who've cut rates: 1
- magazines who've not raised freelance rates (since 2006): 2
- newspapers/sections/supplements who've commissioned less work from freelances for cost reasons: 8
- new regular paying clients that I didn't have last tax year: 1
- number of those new clients who've not paid the invoice and for whom I won't work again: 1
- number of new paying clients who've approached me but whose rates are too low for me to work for them: 1
- number of new clients where work will be infrequent or one-off: 2
Please let Adam know about any freelance work that you know has disappeared in the last few months - by 18 July, in time for the information gathered to be presented to the next NUJ National Executive Council meeting in that month. Send data by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with "Disappearing freelance work" in the subject line.