Craig McGill reflects on news reported on Journalism.co.uk and Allmediascotland regarding changes to freelancing terms at the Herald Group.
McGill suggests the changes, while meaning lower rates for contributors, aren’t as bad as they could be:
“The underlying issue here isn’t actually that of what the Herald titles are paying, it’s one simple fact: freelance journalists for years have allowed themselves to be systematically and consistently lowly paid,” he writes.
It comes down to market forces too, he adds: “If there are too many people (or products) in a market then prices will be low as labour is cheap. If someone has a USP or top skills (for example, bringing in tons of scoops) they should do better.”
But how many freelancers will confront editors offering lower rates with a record of their work and its success?
Update: Allmediascotland is reporting that the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) is now offering a consultation session with an intellectual property lawyer for freelancers affected by the Herald changes.