Freelance print journalists in Edinburgh are being urged to support a campaign to eliminate the practice of newspapers paying a ‘kill fee’ when a piece of work is not published.
Members of the Edinburgh Freelance branch of the National Union of Journalists will be asked to support a motion condemning the paying of such fees which tend only to be a fraction of what was agreed at the time of the commission. Often, the only reason for a piece not being published is a lack of space; and has nothing to do with a failure to meet the commission.
The branch meets a week on Monday to discuss motions to be presented to the union’s annual conference.
Said a branch insider: “Personally, I’m fed up with the number of editors who try to pay reduced-rate ‘kill fees’ for work they have failed to publish through no fault of my own. The union already has a line on this, but perhaps we could get them to back an awareness-raising campaign or something.”