How much do freelance journalists earn?

J-Source, the Canadian journalism project, asked me to write a piece on how much freelance journalists earn (as a follow up to its piece on how much Canadian journalists earn). While I can’t offer any conclusive answers, I review some of my research findings and discuss the reasons why freelancers’ earnings remain low. It is interesting to note from J-Source’s original piece that journalists’ salaries depend on the presence of a union in the newsroom to negotiate collective agreements. Until recently—and other than to limit the amount of work contracted to freelancers—freelancers have been left out of union negotiations. In my piece, I briefly review some of the efforts currently underway by freelance unions and worker organizations to improve rates and contracts by building collective power.

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