NUJ denounces freelance fee offered by the Leicester Mercury
29 May 2014
The NUJ has denounced a freelance fee offered by the Leicester Mercury as a notorious example of "sweatshop journalism".
An experienced freelance journalist was asked to cover four days of cricket for a total fee of £150. This would require his attendance at the match between 11am and 6pm (possibly later), and a 400-word report each day.
Pro rata, this works out at £5.30 per hour, which is well below the minimum wage.
John Toner, NUJ freelance organiser, said:
"We are all aware that certain publishers do not value the work of freelances, but this plumbs a new depth.
"One wonders how the Mercury's owners, Local World, imagine that anyone could live on such a pitiful wage. If they place such low value on journalism, how can they possibly expect their readers to value their newspapers?"