Latest on freelance income

23/3/20 Pressure is mounting on the government to help freelances who have lost income as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, so keep your eye on the news, but here are some useful links about the situation as it stands:

NUJ press release: UK freelances face destitution as they have been “forgotten” in the government’s rescue package for businesses https://www.nuj.org.uk/news/freelances-face-destitution-as-they-have-been-forgotten-in-the/

London Freelance: Coronavirus – advice for freelanceshttp://londonfreelance.org/fl/2003fic.html

The Guardian: Rishi Sunak faces legal action from gig economy workers https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/mar/22/rishi-sunak-under-pressure-to-bail-out-self-employed

Treasury Committee on Twitter: 

Parliament petition: Include self-employed in statutory sick pay during Coronavirus https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/300336

Change.org petition: Create an emergency fund to support freelancers with Coronavirus income loss https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-create-an-emergency-fund-to-support-freelancers-with-coronavirus-income-loss

Accountancy blog: Coronavirus Support Round Up for Freelancers, Side Hustlers, Small Businesses and the Self Employed https://www.cheapaccounting.co.uk/blog/index.php/coronavirus-support-round-up-for-freelancers-side-hustlers-small-businesses-and-the-self-employed/

Stay well!

Journalism – the next generation

We’ve got a very special meeting this month organised by our student rep John Gillespie, who has put together a panel of student speakers to talk about their journalism dissertation topics. 


We had a huge turnout at a similar event last year, so we’ve booked the large room at the Quaker Meeting House on Victoria Terrace. The event is in conjunction with Edinburgh and District Branch.


Here is the line-up:

  • Jamie Braidwood: How do online sports news websites engage their audiences?
  • Beth Murray: Is there a contradiction between the ethos of UK women’s magazines and the content they publish?
  • Iain Leggat: Is podcasting just chasing the audience or does it contribute to a new form of journalism- what makes a successful daily news podcast in the UK?
  • Adam Zawadzki: Is the British press able to hold the power of the four big multinational corporations to account effectively in the 21st century?

Q&A to follow.

We’re expecting a lot of students to be there – please come along to welcome them to the union.

MONDAY 16 MARCH: STUDENT SPECIAL

Hot dissertation topics discussed by the next generation of journalists

7pm

Quaker Meeting House

7 Victoria Terrace, above, Victoria St, Edinburgh EH1 2JL

From freelance journalism to writing fiction

We’ve got two special meetings lined up this month and next. 

The first, on Monday 17 February, celebrates the publication of Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Vampire Menace, the second comic crime novel by our member Olga Wojtas. Olga, who also writes “cosy crime e-novellas” under the name Helena Marchmont, will be reading from her new book, published three days before our meeting, and talking about striking the balance between writing for the Times Educational Supplement and writing novels. 

https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/authors/olga-wojtas

She’ll be joined by former Herald arts correspondent Phil Miller whose second novel, All The Galaxies, is partially set in a newsroom in a dying newspaper (sound familiar?). Phil will be reading an exclusive extract from his forthcoming novel.


http://www.philipmillerbooks.com/

In the chair will be Jackie McGlone who, as well as being a feature writer and former editor, is a frequent chair at events in the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Then in March we have a special student-run meeting in which a panel of journalism students will discuss the topics they have been investigating for their dissertations. 

MONDAY 17 FEBRUARY: JOURNALISTS WRITING FICTION

Novelists Olga Wojtas and Phil Miller in conversation with chair Jackie McGlone

7pm

Film Guild Room
Filmhouse
88 Lothian Road  Edinburgh EH3 9BZ
0131 228 6382

You get to the Film Guild room via the corridor to the left of the bar/restaurant. Be aware there may be films showing, so please keep conversation to a minimum until you’re in the room.

MONDAY 16 MARCH: STUDENT SPECIAL

Hot dissertation topics discussed by the next generation of journalists

7pm

Quaker Meeting House

7 Victoria Terrace, above, Victoria St, Edinburgh EH1 2JL

I look forward to seeing you at both events.

Happy new AGM – next NUJ meeting 20 January

This month, it’s the branch’s annual general meeting when we’ll be reflecting on the year gone by and electing officers for the year ahead. Let me know if you’d like to stand (or stand down) for any of the posts. This is how it’s looking at the moment:


Chair: Joyce McMillan
Vice-chair: Simon Barrow
Secretary: Mark Fisher
Membership and welfare: Paul Cockburn
Treasurer: David Gow
Training: Claire Foottit
Edinburgh Trade Union Council rep: Bruce Whitehead
Student rep: John Gillespie
Auditor 1: Lorraine Mallinder
Auditor 2: Adam Ramsay


Also at the meeting, we’ll be discussing the preliminary agenda for the forthcoming NUJ Delegate Meeting and electing two delegates to represent us at it.


The agenda is now on the NUJ website https://www.nuj.org.uk/home/.  It’s in the members-only section so you will need to log in.

MONDAY 20 JANUARY: AGM & DM AMENDMENTS

7pm Film Guild Room
Filmhouse
88 Lothian Road  Edinburgh EH3 9BZ
0131 228 6382

You get to the Film Guild room via the corridor to the left of the bar/restaurant. Be aware there may be films showing, so please keep conversation to a minimum until you’re in the room.

A quick note about forthcoming meetings:

MONDAY 17 FEBRUARY

7pm Filmhouse

MONDAY 16 MARCH: STUDENT SPECIAL

7pm Quaker Meeting House

I look forward to seeing you there.

Women, journalism and fair pay

We’ve got a great discussion lined up for this month’s Edinburgh Freelance meeting, as we take a look at the gender pay gap and how it affects journalists.

Leading the debate we have:
Claire Sawers, arts writer, reflecting on Equal, the new book by BBC journalist Carrie Gracie (https://carriegracie.com/)

Layla-Roxanne Hill, writer, talking about the disparities in pay of women who have intersecting identities, such as disabled, LGBTQIA+, race and ethnicity

Miriam Attwood, talking about income inequalities in PR

Nick McGowan-Lowe (tbc), the NUJ’s organiser Scotland, reporting on research into gender and photographers 


In the chair will be Joyce McMillan, Scotsman columnist.


As this is an issue that affects so many people, we’ll be especially keen to hear your views.


MONDAY 21 OCTOBER
7pm
Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel
9 Haddington Place, EH7 4AL 
https://www.syha.org.uk/where-to-stay/lowlands/edinburgh-central.aspx

How can the NUJ work best for freelances?

Pleased to report a positive outcome to the court case hanging over Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey, our guest speakers in April. They were arrested in relation to No Stone Unturned, their powerful documentary about a massacre in a Northern Irish pub in 1994, but the police have now dropped the case against them

At this month’s meeting, we’ll be discussing the NUJ’s structural review, asking how the union can best work on behalf of freelances, and how the voices of freelances can be heard at the highest level of the union – please give that some thought and come along with your ideas.

Here are the details:
MONDAY 17 JUNE
Edinburgh Freelance
7pm
Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel
9 Haddington Place, EH7 4AL 
https://www.syha.org.uk/where-to-stay/lowlands/edinburgh-central.aspx

I look forward to seeing you there.

Edinburgh Freelance update

Sorry, we’re going to skip our meeting this month, which means the next Edinburgh Freelance meeting will be on Monday 17 June. The plan is to have a discussion that can feed into the NUJ’s structural review, asking how the union can best work on behalf of freelances, and how the voices of freelances can be heard at the highest level of the union – please give that some thought before then. In the meantime, please complete this NUJ freelance survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/nujfreelance

And check out this video before sharing it with your colleagues:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCHAYn4wxa8

MONDAY 17 JUNE
Edinburgh Freelance & Edinburgh and District Branches
7pm
Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel
9 Haddington Place, EH7 4AL 
https://www.syha.org.uk/where-to-stay/lowlands/edinburgh-central.aspx

FILM SCREENING No Stone Unturned

I’m delighted to announce a very special event for this month’s branch meeting. In conjunction with Edinburgh and District Branch, we’re welcoming NUJ members Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey who were arrested in relation to No Stone Unturned, their powerful documentary about a massacre in a Northern Irish pub in 1994 when masked men shot at football fans from behind, leaving six dead and five injured. The film also points to corruption involving the police, paramilitary gangs and the army.
A quarter of a century later, nobody has been arrested for the murders, but two journalists have been arrested for doing their jobs and reporting on them.
Read the full story here: https://www.nuj.org.uk/campaigns/no-stone-unturned/
At the event on Monday 15 April, we will have a screening of the documentary followed by a question-and-answer session with Birney and McCaffrey. 
Please come along to show your support for the journalists and this important freedom-of-speech case. We’ll be starting at 6pm to allow time for the screening – fine to show up late if you can’t avoid missing the start of it. Should be a great night.
PLEASE NOTE VENUE AND START TIME
6PM MONDAY 15 APRIL
Quaker Meeting House
7 Victoria Terrace
Edinburgh
EH1 2JL
http://www.equaker.org.uk
I look forward to seeing you there,

Special guest speaker: Allan Wort of the Media Fund – Monday 11 March

We’re teaming up again with Edinburgh and District next week to welcome a special guest speaker to Edinburgh. Alan Wort is treasurer of the Media Fund, the funding body that supports independent media. They have already done some great work in helping independent media enterprises get off the ground and have an impressive growth strategy.
Allan is keen to secure support for the Media Fund and to discuss ideas for local initiatives. 

The NUJ’s DM 2018 passed a motion committing the NUJ to support and publicise the work of the Media Fund. Trade union principles are central to the Media Fund’s operating model and its partners have to sign up to the following code: 

·        They must abide by the NUJ’s code of conduct.
·        They must not be reliant on corporate or state funding.
·        They must support full unionisation of their workplaces.
More information: https://themediafund.org/

Thanks to the help of Manchester & Salford Branch for setting this up.
MONDAY 11 MARCH
Edinburgh Freelance & Edinburgh and District Branches
7pm
Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel
9 Haddington Place, EH7 4AL 
https://www.syha.org.uk/where-to-stay/lowlands/edinburgh-central.aspx

I look forward to seeing you there.

Should public funds be used to support journalism? – with John Toner

At tonight’s meeting in conjunction with Edinburgh & District branch, we’ll be picking up on the latest report from Frances Cairncross who suggests local news coverage could disappear without public funding:
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/feb/11/public-funds-should-be-used-to-rescue-local-journalism-says-report
Leading the discussion will be John Toner, NUJ national organiser for Scotland, who will also be updating us on the latest Scottish media news. Among the other contributors will be Scotsman columnist and branch chair, Joyce McMillan.
Should be a lively discussion.
MONDAY 18 FEBRUARY
Edinburgh Freelance Branch
7pm
Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel
9 Haddington Place, EH7 4AL 
https://www.syha.org.uk/where-to-stay/lowlands/edinburgh-central.aspx