How well is your being?

HOW ARE today's changes in the media world affecting freelance journalists? That's just one of the questions behind a survey of "freelance wellbeing" being carried out by the NUJ's Freelance Industrial Council (FIC).

More than 300 freelances completed the survey when it was first carried out four years ago. Now, it's being repeated online, to gauge the state of freelancing in 2008 and to see what has changed. "The data from the 2004 exercise has been influencing NUJ policy and work ever since," said FIC vice chair Adam Christie. "We hope that repeating the work will be equally valuable and useful."

This time, the survey is online - at www.nuj.org.uk - direct link via http://tinyurl.com/627wnt - and members have until 5 December to answer the questions. The questionnaire shouldn't take more than a few minutes to complete. Members can again add more personal contributions to the research: email wellbeing@nuj.org.uk

"Last time, we had tens of thousands of words about the trials and tribulations of freelancing," said Adam Christie, "all of which have proved extremely valuable in influencing union policy. Perhaps most importantly, we had data that substantiated freelance claims that our earnings were often substantially less than those of many staffers.

"If we again have confirmation that most freelances can only survive because they live in shared accommodation or have spouses or partners who effectively subsidise them, then the research will be worthwhile."

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