What a response! Last week I used the blog to ask freelancers to provide me with information – with all anonymity preserved – on what different publications pay for contributors’ copy. The inbox has been inundated with information, starting as a trickle moments after the blog post appeared, and building to a gush by lunchtime. I now have over 100 responses, and am trying to write it all up in understandable form.

Keep it coming. 

Meanwhile the Media Alliance – the journalists’ union – has stated that its recommended freelance rate of 89 cents a word or $219 an hour is:

Based on a J5 Grade under the Metro Daily award (an amalgam of the Fairfax Media and News Ltd J5 graded rates) and is based on the assumption that a freelancer can producer two 1000-word features in a week – it also includes provision for annual leave, sick leave, etc plus costs related to running a freelance business (not including superannuation). The recommended rate is increased on January 1 each year based on the average percentage pay increase set down in the Fairfax and News Ltd agreements.

But does anyone actually get that amount? A Media Alliance survey of freelancers conducted in 2008 found that one in five earned $300 a week or less from their craft – although there were also sizable proportions earning amounts of between $1000 and $3000.  The Alliance found that corporations and governments were the best payers, followed by big publishing houses. Australian Consolidated Press was the best payer after Government, closely followed by Fairfax. At the time of the survey, Fairfax was paying an average of 65c a word, with some contributors getting $1.10, and News Limited was paying an average of .54 cents a word, peaking at $1 a word.Here’s the table of wordage and hourly rates,  compiled by the Alliance,  but sadly I fear their information is out of date, and misses out some of the higher payers.

Patience, I will get the data from my call for info up ASAP. 

 

Publisher

Word Rate

(cents)

Publisher

Hourly Rate

(dollars)

Business

79

Business

100

Government

72

Other Commercial

91

ACP

67

Government

90

Fairfax

65

Other AUS MAGS

77

Ninemsn

63

TIME

75

Yahoo!7

63

Fairfax

43

Other Commercial

61

Yahoo!7

39

TIME

60

ACP

38

Other AUS MAGS

59

PBL

37

PBL

57

ninemsn

35

NewsLtd

54

NewsLtd

34

APN

50

APN

No Response

WAN

34

WAN

31.5

 

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