London Freelance Branch meetings

LFB meetings are at 6:45pm sharp on the second Monday of each month (except August). They are at NUJ HQ, Headland House, 72 Acton Street WC1X 9NB: go directly to the meeting schedule (or to this month's motions.)

Meetings this year start 15 minutes earlier than previously.
[NUJ London Freelance Branch]

For the benefit of members coming in from shifts and so on, there are sandwiches.

Please check back here - meeting subjects and speakers inevitably change from time to time. To be sure of receiving our monthly email alert and virtual Freelance listing, give us your details at

Volunteer minute-takers are still needed for some Branch meetings. Please contact a committee member if you are interested: see contacts.

NOTE that under the Branch rules any motion for a meeting must be sent, in writing, to the Freelance editors ten days before the meeting date: see below for a handy form for submitting motions. See here for guidance on Tweeting and recording meetings.

The Branch also organises meetings for members new to freelance journalism, to meet other people new to the Branch and members with more experience of freelance journalism. These take place at the Camera Café, Museum Street, London WC1A 1LY (map) on the last Thursday of every third month from 6pm: check specific announcements in the Freelance.

Date Speaker/subject
Mon Jan 14 Annual General Meeting: elected the Committee and amended the rules. See reports from Branch officers.
Thu Jan 31 Meeting for members new to freelancing
Mon Feb 11 How three new freelances make a living
Mon Mar 11 "Dr. Brexit" advice session with Alison Stanley, Joint Head of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Team at Bindmans Solicitors: report soon
Mon Apr 08

We will discuss the problems faced by writers and photographers covering complex protests such as the Gilets Jaunes in France - not to be confused with the few all-far-right yellow-jacketed ones in London because they're far more confusing, though some are just as likely to attack journalists. Our speakers will include Chris Myant, Chair of Paris Branch of the NUJ as well as a correspondent for the Morning Star.

Following this Natasha Hirst, Guy Smallman and our Chair Pennie Quinton will join Chris in a panel discussion on covering difficult and conflictual events.

Please check back here for updates.

We also expect elections for the vacant post of co-Secretary, Negotiations Officer and other vacant Committee posts in this meeting: see here for job descriptions.

Thu Apr 25 Meeting for members new to freelancing
Mon May 14

We will be discussing how to make more money in specialist fields, and whether groups such as the British Association of Science Writers, the Medical Writers' Association, the Garden Media Guild and so on can help alongside your NUJ membership.

Please check back here for updates.

Mon Jun 11 To be announced
Mon Jul 09 To be announced
Thu Jul 25 Meeting for members new to freelancing
August No meeting
Mon Sep 10 To be announced
Mon Oct 08 To be announced
Thu Oct 31 Meeting for members new to freelancing
Mon Nov 12 To be announced
Mon Dec 10 Almost certainly, a Branch social event, at Headland House.
Mon Jan 13 2020 Annual General Meeting 2020: elects a new Committee. More notes on what it does here.

The Branch Committee welcomes suggestions for speakers and topics for meetings: contact

Headland House is accessible to people who use wheelchairs. The nearest stops on the Tube are King's Cross St Pancras (Victoria, Picadilly, Northern Line City Branch, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and, when the Moon is full, the Circle Line).

If you need the Branch to pay for care for a dependant to be able to attend a meeting, contact a Branch officer.

Motions for the April meeting

Wapping film

London Freelance Branch agrees to respond to the appeal for funds from Platform Films, working with the News International Dispute Archive, to complete the documentary film Wapping, the Workers' Story.

The branch recalls its own support for the fight by printworkers and journalists together to resist the bullying management of Rupert Murdoch as he amassed the media empire that did so much damage to British society, culture and politics; especially the part played by NUJ members who sacrificed their own jobs and careers.

The branch applauds the fact this film is being made, to keep alive the memory of a heroic resistance to unacceptable media power and agrees to donate £500 to the project.

The motions archive - 2019
Motions for the March meeting

Brexit advice

This Branch resolves, to help branch members who are EU citizens working in the UK and UK members working in the EU or for EU clients, to commit up to £500 to support, in the event of Brexit happening, if required, one or two "Dr Brexit" advice sessions with a specialist solicitor - these to be organised, if required, by NUJ staff lawyer Roy Mincoff (estimated total cost £1000 a time).

Motions for the Annual General Meeting

Branch Standing Orders: officers

In Standing Order 6 replace the words
"a Training Officer"
with the words
"up to two Training Officers"

Branch Standing Orders: treatment of fellow journalists
passed, amended to include "sex" before "gender"

NOTE: This was passed as policy at the meeting in July 2018 and this motion incorporates it formally into Standing Orders.

Insert into the Branch Standing Orders as item 4:

All Branch members shall treat fellow journalists and members with respect and with sensitivity toward equality issues relating to gender identity, sexuality, age, nationality, race, religion, disability, class background, legal status and marital status. The branch aims to be an inclusive and supportive space where all members feel equally welcome and encouraged to contribute and take part. Where branch members experience conduct that falls short of this, they are encouraged to approach the branch's Welfare Officers to discuss how to address and resolve the situation.

Renumber subsequent points in Standing Orders.

Speakers at Branch meetings
passed, amended as indicated.

London Freelance Branch welcomes the range of guest speakers arranged for branch meetings.

The Branch resolves to invite speakers to all meetings except the AGM and instructs the branch committee to follow the following principles as much as possible in selecting them:

  • There should be no more than two speakers at any meeting;
  • There must be a good balance of speakers in terms of gender, race and age;
  • If speakers are working journalists eligible for NUJ membership they either must be members of the NUJ or another relevant union such as the BECTU sector of Prospect or have applied for membership;
  • Speakers will have expenses reimbursed (including overnight stay if necessary) but not be paid a fee;

If branch business is pressing, the Chair may delay the start of the speeches but not beyond the limit of allowing one hour within the standing orders (that is, by suspending the SOs to extend the meeting for up to half an hour).

Motions for the normal Janary Meeting

Confirmation of Freelance Salon funding

This Branch formally confirms the decision of the November 2018 meeting to underwrite the Salon event by a further sum up to £300.

NOTE: The actual expenditure required from Branch Funds will be reported at the January 2019 meeting.

Solidarity with journalists in Afghanistan

This Branch resolves to approach the Union's General Secretary, Chair of Policy Committee and Communications Officer to co-ordinate a request to chapels and other branches to contribute to building links with the journalists' union(s) in Afghanistan, including a possible delegation to that country.

Solidarity with journalists in Cumbria
passed, amended to £200

This Branch resolves to donate £100; to the hardship fund for NUJ members at Newsquest Cumbria who held a one-day strike on 20 December 2018 over a pay freeze and cuts.

The Branch notes that the strikers have lost a day's pay - a piddling £79 in some cases - and are contemplating further action.