THE subject of fees paid to freelancers – or their diminishing rewards – is subject of a heartfelt piece by Liz Hodkinson writing on Gentleman's Ranters which appears to have struck something of a chord among fellow journalists.
South of the Border a meeting among angry freelancers has been arranged in a pub (where else) at Fleet Street bar The Harrow – appropriately on April Fools Day – to discuss a plan of action and possible UK wide day of stoppage.
Now veteran journalist Bob Dow, who is himself now a freelance after an illustrious career working for the Daily Record, is issuing a call to arms for fellow freelancers in Scotland to follow suit.
In an email, he says: "Through the medium of your excellent websites I would like to float the idea of possible protest/action by freelances against the ridiculous payments and conditions imposed by newspapers.
I have speaking to Liz Hodgkinson following her recent piece about it on the Gentlemen Ranters website –http://www.gentlemenranters.com/feb_26_2010_165.html#liz_136 – and there is now a head of steam building up on it.
Angry freelances south of the border are meeting on April Fools Day in the old Fleet Street haunt, The Harrow, to draw up a plan of action.
I am willing to help set up a similar meeting , hopefully the same day, north of the border, either in Glasgow or Edinburgh, provided there is enough interest. Those interested can e-mail me.
I would stress this has just been set up by freelances themselves with no NUJ involvement so far.
With newspapers relying heavily on freelance contributions to fill their pages these days, there is widespread anger at the pathetic rates they are trying to get away with.
One suggestion so far has been a UK-wide stoppage by freelances filing copy. Whether it would work or not, who knows? But everyone is saying, enough is enough."
Anyone interested can email him via firstname.lastname@example.org