Code of Practice
for commissioning journalists



Staff journalists hiring freelances have a duty to see that these freelances are treated reasonably.


Conditions and rates of pay should be established clearly when the work is accepted or commissioned, preferably in writing.


Freelances shall be paid in all cases for providing background information, tips, research material, expertise, etc.


Work commissioned or accepted should be paid for at a date agreed at the time of commissioning or acceptance, which should normally be no more than one month after delivery.


Staff journalists shall check that the right payments are made at the proper time to freelances they hire, and mistakes in payment should be rectified immediately.


Work, including photographs, should be by-lined or credited on the same basis as for staff unless the contributor has agreed that this should be omitted.


Copyright should remain with the freelance unless a specific signed agreement to transfer it has been made with the freelance in each case.


Artwork and photographs should remain the property of the freelance unless a specific signed agreement is made transferring ownership, and should be returned to the freelance after use.


Freelances should be paid expenses on at least the same basis as the staff, and preferably these should be advanced before expenditure is incurred.


Freelance work should go to freelance members of the NUJ and not moonlighters.

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