Exploring Freelance Journalism

This 52-page report provides independent, comprehensive labour market information about the freelance journalism sector and includes the results of a survey of more than 600 freelance journalists.

The rise in freelance journalism.

The UK economy has seen a significant rise in self-employment, and journalism now has one of the highest rates of self-employment of all occupations.

From 2000 to 2015, the number of freelance journalists increased from 15,000 to 25,000, an increase of 67 per cent, with the proportion of journalists who categorise themselves as being freelance increasing from 25 to 35 per cent, compared to 15 per cent of all UK workers.

The research explores the reasons for the rise in freelance journalism. It finds less than one-fifth (17 per cent) have been ‘pushed’ into self-employment, with 44 per cent saying they have been attracted into freelancing and 39 per cent believing it was a mixture of both.

This wide-ranging research report provides detailed and valuable information about the growing freelance journalism market. Now that journalism has one of the highest rates of self-employment in the UK economy, the NCTJ must focus more of its work on providing accessible training and qualifications to meet the needs of modern freelance journalists.

– Joanne Butcher, chief executive, NCTJ

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