Recommended Rates: MEAA and other rate guides

What rates do freelance journalists get paid in Australia?

The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance has published a schedule of freelance rates.
The latest schedule is based on the most recent negotiated enterprise bargaining agreement for employed staff journalists at Fairfax and News Corp, at July 2017.

https://www.meaa.org/download/recommended-freelance-rates/#

These have been calculated based on the daily rate that an independent contractor would need to earn, to make the equivalent salary of aJ5* graded journalist on a Fairfax or News Corporation metropolitan daily newspaper. Provisions for annual and sick leave and business administration costs are built into the calculation.

(J5 journalists have five years post-cadetship experience. Many freelance journalists have much more than five years experience as a working journalist.)

GST and Super

If your business has a turnover of $75,000 or over per year, you are required to register for GST.
Many freelancers don’t know until the end of the financial year whether they will turn over that amount – if you expect to earn $50,000 or more, it is a very good idea to register for GST so that you don’t have to retrospectively pay 10% on invoices charged.

When you are offered a gig, or you quote for a job, make sure that you specify GST in your invoice. Most people will quote a rate (eg $1 per word or $100 per hour) and note that this rate excludes GST.

As a freelancer, the ATO states that you may still be entitled to super. A contractor paid wholly or principally for their labour is considered an employee for super purposes and entitled to super guarantee contributions under the same rules as employees. Rules apply – eg you must perform the contract work personally, be paid per hour, and work directly for an employer not via an agency, company, trust or partnership.

What rates do government and business pay?

The rates quoted above are often paid by not-for-profit, government and private organisations for journalism done in industry.

Copywriters will often charge a higher hourly rate  ($150 to $200 per hour) particularly if they work through an agency.

What rates do publications pay?

Actual rates offered by publishers vary widely. Many publications have not lifted their wordrates in over 20 years. Rates as low as 50c per word still occur in some areas of travel journalism, and some newpapers still pay 65c per word for features.

Some large outlets rely on their high profile and the kudos that comes with having a byline in mainstream publications, to attract freelance journalists, despite their paltry rates. (I’m looking at you, Fairfax and News Corp, and to some extent, the ABC.)

A common / acceptable commercial rate for publications in 2018 is 80c to $1 per word.
Commissioning editors may offer higher or lower rates, and journalists may command higher or lower fees depending on their experience, expertise and publication budgets.

For a guide to the current rates offered by publications in the Australian market, check out the MEAA’s Rate Tracker – this contains real data updated by freelancers based on their own experience of publisher payments. (You can add your own information to Rate Tracker to help build this useful tool about current market rates.)

The MEAA encourages freelancers to prioritise publishers who pay well.

 

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Australian Freelance Journo of the Year 2017

Apply now for the Walkley Award for Best Freelance Journalist for 2017.

This MEAA Walkley Award recognises “the unique contribution that freelance journalists make across all media platforms to the future of the industry.”

Open to residents of either Australia or New Zealand.

The winner will receive a full pass to the Walkley’s Storyology Summit and two tickets to the Walkley Awards Gala Dinner.

Previous winners include Yaara Bou Melhem, Andrew Quilty, Debra Jopson, Fiona Harari and Dave Tacon.

Entries open till April 26.

Apply online: http://bit.ly/freelanceaward

MEAA Freelance Focus Conference – Brisbane Aug 5 2015

FREELANCE FOCUS – LAST CHANCE FOR EARLYBIRD PRICES

IF you’re heading to the MEAA Freelance conference — Earlybird prices end tomorrow

Brisbane, AUGUST (Conference August 5 plus practical workshops August 4 & 6)

The earlybird rate ends this Friday –  you can save over $100 on festival tickets.

Don’t miss this chance to explore the opportunities of the industry, inspirational talks and practically-focused sessions.
A stellar lineup features Trent Dalton, Michelle Law, Matt Condon, John Birmingham, Rebecca Sparrow, and more.
Earlybird ticket sales and scholarship entries end July 10: http://bit.ly/1MMxdWc

Don’t miss SCRIVENER 101 for freelancers

Don’t miss Claire Scobie’s workshop – back by popular demand following a successful event at the 2014 Storyology Conference

Do you juggle stories, projects and lists? Are you wasting precious time shuffling between documents, or getting distracted by social media? This half-day workshop explores some simple efficiency and project management techniques and tools, before giving you a comprehensive introduction to the writing software Scrivener.

Friday June 26, 2015
10.00am – 1.00pm
Walkley Training Room
245 Chalmers St, Redfern, NSW
BYO Laptop
Workshop: $245 (MEAA member discount – $195)

http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/write-faster-smarter-seminar-scrivener-101-with-claire-scobie-tickets-16495445321?

Congratulations 2015 Freelancer of The Year finalists

FREELANCE JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

Congratulations to the three top Australian freelancers selected as finalists in the 2015 Walkley Award for Best Freelance Journalist of the Year.

Fiona Harari, Andrew Quilty and William Verity.

The overall winner will be announced in Sydney on July 29.

More details: http://bit.ly/1Gbm4v5

This year’s awards attracted more than 60 top-quality entries, showing that freelance journalism in Australia is alive and kicking!

Australian Freelance Journo of the Year 2015

Apply now for the Walkley Award for Best Freelance Journalist of the Year 2015

This MEAA Walkley Award recognises “the unique contribution that freelance journalists make across all media platforms to the future of the industry.”

Open to residents of either Australia or New Zealand.

The winner will receive $3,000 in prize money, a full pass to the Walkley’s Storyology Summit and two tickets to the Walkley Awards Gala Dinner.

Entries are now open.

Apply online: http://bit.ly/freelanceaward