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

London Freelance: Coronavirus – advice for freelances

The Guardian: Rishi Sunak faces legal action from gig economy workers

Treasury Committee on Twitter: 

Parliament petition: Include self-employed in statutory sick pay during Coronavirus petition: 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

Stay well!

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:

Thanks to the help of Manchester & Salford Branch for setting this up.
Edinburgh Freelance & Edinburgh and District Branches
Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel
9 Haddington Place, EH7 4AL

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:
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.
Edinburgh Freelance Branch
Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel
9 Haddington Place, EH7 4AL

Freelance Branch AGM

Our first meeting of 2019 is in two weeks’ time when we’ll be electing our branch officers and looking forward to the year ahead.

Here’s a list of the branch roles and the current office holders. Let me know if you’re interested in standing for any of the posts (or standing down).

Chair: Joyce McMillan
Vice-chair: Simon Barrow
Secretary: Mark Fisher
Membership secretary and welfare: Paul Cockburn
Treasurer: Joyce McMillan (standing in for Nick McGowan-Lowe)
Training: vacant
Edinburgh Trade Union Council rep: vacant
Student rep: Denitsa Tsekova
Auditor 1: Joyce McMillan
Auditor 2: Adam Ramsay

Edinburgh Freelance Branch AGM
Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel
9 Haddington Place, EH7 4AL

I look forward to seeing you there.

Touchy-feely Networking with the Personal Touch


Paul F Cockburn reports on October’s Freelance Salon presented by the NUJ London Freelance Branch.

No one on the fifth-floor of Headland House last Thursday evening was likely to argue with writer Hina Pandya when she pointed out that “the freelance world (of journalism) is changing.” Indeed, everyone (well, at least the half-dozen people I had time to speak with) at London’s first NUJ Freelance Salon was there to “get ideas” about how to continue making a living in the profession – whether they’d been in the industry for decades or had just joined the NUJ the week before. Continue reading

BBC Scotland Campaign

The Scottish First Minister has thrown her weight behind a growing campaign to transform BBC Scotland into an international standard broadcaster. The demands for serious investment is picking up steam with unions and political parties throwing their weight behind ambitious plans. It is also becoming clear that management at Pacific Quay have submitted their own proposals to radically change and improve the corporation north of the border.

Nicola Sturgeon made a hard hitting speech at the Edinburgh international Television festival laying out the ambitions of the Scottish Government for a larger share of the licence fee for Scotland with greatly expanded news, current affairs and more drama produced in Scotland.

More on this on the NUJ Scotland website here.