NUJ lowers fees for local online journalists

The National Union of Journalists has lowered subscription fees for online journalists at local newspapers and radio stations in response to complaints new media workers earn less than counterparts from other media.

The union said it had, from Monday, dropped the subs required from all new media journalists, except those working alongside counterparts in more established parts of the media, to Grade 1 (currently £12.02 per month).

The old subs bracket lumped new media in with national newspapers, news agencies and broadcasters, where journalists can command higher salaries, on Grade 3 (currently £20.86 per month).

The changes will see new media workers drop to the lowest rate, Grade 1, if they work in provincial newspapers, books, magazines outside London or local radio.

Online journalists at magazine websites will be bracketed in Grade 2 (currently £15.16) while those at the BBC will remain at the higher Grade 3.

Members at the union’s Annual Delegates Meeting in Birmingham in April voted on a motion that “members in new media departments of established media workplaces should normally pay subs at the same rate as their colleagues”.

“Low pay continues to be a problem in many parts of the new media sector and job uncertainty is endemic, factors that made recruitment very difficult with subs for the sector at the highest level,” wrote NUJ London new media organiser Donnacha DeLong.

“The New Media Industrial Council hopes the new subs rates will lead to a boom in recruitment in the sector at a time when the union most needs it.”