Freelance Manifesto

1 Working conditions for all journalists can best be improved through collective action. Freelance journalists are trades unionists and should behave and be treated as such; they and staff journalists must co-operate, both individually and through chapels, to build solidarity and to improve each other's terms and conditions.

Provision for freelances within the NUJ

2 Freelance members of the NUJ deserve an allocation of resources within the union consistent with their actual and growing numbers. This should include the proper staffing of the freelance offices and access (immediate, when urgent) to expert legal advice and representation.

3 Freelance journalists should have access to general professional training: this should include negotiating fees, running a business, and risk assessment and safety. Training of this kind helps prevent the establishment of a low-pay culture among freelances.

4 Networks among freelances with common interests provide an effective means of promoting better terms and conditions. The NUJ should work to encourage the formation of such links as well as links between individual freelances and chapels, and between freelance and staff branches.

Freelance working practices

5 All creators, freelance and staff, should have ownership and control of copyright, moral rights and related rights. The NUJ must defend the existing rights of creators and work to extend these rights when possible.

6 Freelance rates should reflect the costs that self-employment entails. Ensuring this protects staff jobs, encourages appropriate levels of staffing and makes freelancing a viable career choice.

7 Media freedom depends on equal access to public events for all journalists, freelance and staff. Where applicable, rotas should include freelances.

8 Every journalist, freelance or staff, is entitled to work in safety. Freelances put in positions of danger during the course of their work should be afforded the same back-up and insurance available to staff.

Freelances’ relationship with the wider world

9 Freelances should have fair treatment in relation to tax, national insurance, benefits, other financial matters. The NUJ should work to ensure this, when necessary.