November 1995

US freelances collect

There must be hundreds of thousands of pounds out there waiting to be collected. The National Writers' Union in the USA has collected thousands of dollars for its members through its Operation Magazine Index. The NWU represents 4000 freelance journalists. Run by lay members of the union in California, Operation Magazine Index trawls on-line databases for appearances of members' work and alerts them to suspicious cases.

Members of the NUJ are discussing ways of setting up a similar operation here.

The main question is: if we go for a central search and enquiry operation, how should it be funded? This must form part of the union's discussion about the role of collecting societies for journalists - see below and complete the questionnaire.

In the meantime, if you or your branch subscribe to NUJnet you can run your own Operation Magazine Index, with the cheapest small-scale access to the databases that we know of. (Not any more.)

BY Mike Holderness

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