European Federation of Journalists

Freelance

The importance of cooperation between freelancers across borders in Europe has increased over the years. Colleagues inspire each other; union workers share ideas and experiences.

Contracts and fees, training, authors’ rights, and professional standards are all key issues for the growing – and ever more precarious- freelance community of journalists. Innovative financing models, which can give freelance journalists new possibilities/niches in media, are being explored by the EFJ and its affiliates.

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) Authors’ Rights Expert Group (AREG) and the Freelance Experts’ Group (FREG) strive to defend and to promote freelance rights. We say to our staff colleagues: in order to defend your rights and conditions of work, you can do nothing more effective than to promote the highest standards for freelances.

The Freelance Experts’ Group’s focus for the coming years’ is based on the EFJ’s working programme:

  • collective bargaining for all, including freelancers;
  • ensure competition law does not undermine the right to collective bargaining;
  • organising and training for freelances including on safety.

Links to freelance sites of our unions


Actions

Germany: Unions urge government to support small media and freelancers in funding scheme for media

Credits: Lena Balk

The German Association of Journalists (DJV) has called on the Federal Ministry of Economics to link the agreed press funding to certain conditions in order to countervail media concentration and preference of large media groups. In July, the German parliament decided to provide publishers with a funding of €220 million over several years, most probably starting in 2021. This support is primarily aimed at the digital transformation of the publishing industry. However, previously agreed support specifically for the delivery of daily newspapers will not be made available. This is in the context where publishers complain that the delivery of printed press…

Freelance Journalism Assembly launched to offer free online training and more

Credit: EJC

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined the “Freelance Journalism Assembly”, a free of charge programme to train and connect freelance journalists in Europe. The ambitious programme is organised by the European Journalism Centre (EJC) with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The original conference was planned in Berlin, which is why several German organisations have partnered including both EFJ affiliates the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) and the Deutsche Journalistinnen- and the Journalisten-Union (DJU). The programme consists of four tracks, each one covering one topic essential to freelance journalists: personal branding, personal finances, well-being, and pitching and negotiation. Each track includes activities…

COVID-19: It is time to guarantee social security for all

Credit: EFJ

UPDATE: In Denmark, freelancers and self-employed journalists who can justify a loss of more than 30% of their income will receive 75% compensation from the State (no more than 3000€ per month) between 8 March and 8 July. Amids the Corona Virus Disease pandemic (COVID-19), European governments, EU institutions and social partners take emergency measures to protect workers’ health and lives and avoid an unprecedented economic downturn. EFJ affiliates are working hard to protect their members including the growing number of freelancers. On March 20, the European Federation of Journalists’ Freelance Expert Group (FREG) had its first online meeting focusing…

Freelancers in Belgium: wages remain precariously low

Freelance fees in the french-speaking Belgium haven’t developed for more than ten years. That reveals the latest inquiry “Les tarifs de la pige”, published on 05 August by our Belgian affiliate Association Générale des Journalistes Professionnels (AJP). The fourth edition of the study shows, some tariffs of freelance-journalists have remained on the same precarious level since it was first raised in 2007 – and some even dropped below. But it doesn’t have to be like that, says Sophie Lejoly, Deputy Secretary General of the AJP. Whether it’s newspapers, magazines, web editions, TV or radio, public or private media – the…

Report: Urgent action needed to protect press freedom in Europe

Press freedom in Europe is more fragile now than at any time since the end of the Cold War. That is the alarming conclusion of a report launched today by the 12 partner organizations of the Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of Journalism and safety of journalists. The report, “Democracy at Risk”, analyses media freedom violations raised to the Platform in 2018. It provides a stark picture of the worsening environment for the media across Europe, in which journalists increasingly face obstruction, hostility and violence as they investigate and report on behalf of the public. The 12 Platform partners…

Dutch photojournalists on strike for a payrise to counter inflation, falling tariffs and ignored authors’ rights

The Dutch union of journalists Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten (NVJ, an EFJ affiliate) and its photojournalist section the NVF announced on 09/01/2019 that they will be going on strike in protest at the erosion of rates of pay. The NVJ/NVF has written to six prominent Dutch media companies calling for talks before January 11th – with strike action set to go ahead on January 25th if talks are unsuccessful. Already over 200 photojournalists have pledged their support for the action. A national monitor of freelance rates shows they fell from €80 a photo in 2014 to an average rate today of €42…