A summarised version of this document with key things to know is here.
These Terms and Conditions for the Supply of Contributions to Guardian News & Media (aka the Freelance Charter), including any documents herein referred to (together “Agreement”), shall:
a) apply to all freelance Contributions provided by you to Guardian News and Media Ltd (“GNM”, “we”, “us”), which party for the purposes of this Agreement shall include authorised commissioning agents acting for and on behalf of GNM (“agents”), for use, publication and transmission in the Licensed Products; and
b) shall prevail over any other terms and conditions, whether written or oral, unless otherwise agreed in writing between you and GNM.
Please read these terms carefully. You shall be legally bound by these terms when you agree to supply to GNM content that is covered within their scope. You are advised to print off and keep a paper copy of these terms.
Some types of contributions, such as book extracts and user-generated content, have specific terms and conditions and these can be viewed here.
Variation of terms
We accept that these standard terms for freelance Contributions may not always be appropriate, for example, if a Contribution has been previously published elsewhere or you have syndication arrangements that potentially conflict with our own. For the purposes of clarity to both parties, any variation of our terms must be agreed prior to publication and shall be subject to the approval of the Managing Editor or his/her nominees.
Please note there is no obligation for freelances to accept our standard terms and conditions nor for us to accept Contributions other than on our standard terms and conditions.
If you wish to discuss a variation of the terms and conditions or you have any other queries, please contact our Rights Department (firstname.lastname@example.org; tel. 0203 353 4575). For commissions agreed with agents, please speak in the first instance to the agent.
At the time of commissioning or ordering in your Contribution, you and the relevant editor should agree terms, including the fee to be paid (it is acknowledged that not all content suppliers shall seek to be paid a fee for Contributions), allowable expenses, the deadline and the rights acquired by GNM. You should also agree on the main points to be covered in your Contribution, and any special requirements.
Once you reach a verbal agreement to commission or deliver content we will confirm the terms in writing by email (or by letter in the absence of an email address). Our written confirmation will contain a unique reference number or project code which you should include with your Contribution (see Delivery of contributions below) and on all correspondence and invoices (where these are required – see Payment below).
Rejection of Commissioned Contributions
If a Commissioned Contribution is rejected you should be told quickly: within two weeks for features, or the same day for news items. If you don’t hear anything, feel free to ask. Editors should not delay unreasonably or deny you the chance to offer an unwanted Commissioned Contribution elsewhere.
We shall the agreed fee in full for a Commissioned Contribution that is not used, except where it fails substantially to meet the requirements agreed at the time it was commissioned in which event the fee shall not be less than 50% of the agreed fee.
Please note that unless otherwise agreed we reserve all of the rights set out in our standard Copyright terms below in rejected Commissioned Contributions.
Please note that fees: (a) are quoted in GBP; (b) shall apply to all Licensed Products unless you were commissioned on a no-fee basis; and (c) are subject to variations of our standard fees applied by our editorial offices in the United States and Australia as set out below (in the absence of a US or Australia variation then the rates below shall apply).
Commissioned written Contributions
Wordage rate: 310.68 per 1,000 words and pro-rated thereafter
Regional news agencies
Click here for rates for written Contributions from regional news agencies.
Commissioned or “Pick of the day”: 90.00
Day rates: 190.00 (0-4 hours); 275.00 (4 hrs +)
News and sport images submitted on a speculative basis and reproduced the same day:
80.00 per image reproduced to a size of 5.00 sq ins
150.00 per image reproduced to a size greater than 5.00 sq ins
Reproduction fees for Licensed Products (based on the largest published size of the image in square inches taking into account all editions of one single issue of the relevant Licensed Product).
000.00 - 005.00: 61.89
005.01 - 020.00: 71.18
020.01 - 030.00: 81.85
030.01 - 050.00: 94.12
050.01 - 080.00: 108.24
080.01 - 108.00: 124.49
108.01 - 216.00: 161.83
216.01 - 432.00: 210.39
Eyewitness, The Big Picture: Negotiable
Galleries & Sideshows*: 100.00
Flash fee (use of image in video): 30.00
Single image use on Guardian Digital Network: 80.00
* The fee of GBP 100.00 is an inclusive fee for all images in galleries or slideshows from a single supplier. Where images are sourced from multiple suppliers, the applicable reproduction fee above shall be payable on each image to a maximum of GBP 100.00 per supplier, i.e. if a supplier provides more than one image in a multi-sourced gallery or slideshow then a total fee of GBP 100.00 shall be payable to that supplier.
Commissioned illustrations and artwork
Rates apply to black & white or colour illustrations and artwork
Guardian Letters page: 151.00
Guardian Comment & Debate: 312.00
Guardian Leader cartoon: 450.00
Guardian Sport illustration: 232.00
Observer quarter page: 258.00
Observer section cover: 374.00
For details of multimedia rates click here.
(B) USA (quoted in US dollars)
Commissioned written Contributions
Wordage rate: 500.00 per 1,000 words and pro-rated thereafter
Blog posts / opinion columns
150.00 per contribution
(C) Australia (quoted in Australian dollars)
Commissioned news and features
Wordage rate: 600.00 per 1,000 words and pro-rated thereafter
140.00 per contribution
200.00 per review
Day rates: 350.00 (0-4 hours); 500.00 (4 hrs +)
Single picture: 75.00
Photo essay (including text)
500.00 per contribution
Click here for details of GNM terms of payment to contributors and content suppliers.
Unless otherwise agreed, you will be reimbursed for reasonable expenses wholly and necessarily incurred in the preparation and delivery of Contributions we or our agents have commissioned or you are contracted to provide. If your Contribution has not been commissioned by us or our agents but is offered to us for publication, any expenses you have incurred in relation to it will be payable at the discretion of the editor who accepts your Contribution for publication.
All requests for reimbursement are subject to vetting and approval. Settlement of claims shall be conditional upon:
a) submission of a properly itemised claim with copies of all receipts attached; and
b) receipt of request(s) for reimbursement by GNM or our agents no later than one calendar month following the date on which the expenses were incurred; and
c) attachment of your reference number or project code to all request(s) for reimbursement.
Where a car mileage payment is agreed, GNM shall reimburse Contributions commissioned: a) in the UK in accordance with HMRC guidance; b) in the US in accordance with IRS guidance; and c) in Australia with accordance with ATO guidance.
Reimbursement requests for expenses for Contributions directly commissioned by GNM should be sent to your commissioning editor, either by email (in Australia to email@example.com) or by post. If sending by post, send: a) in the UK to Guardian News & Media Ltd, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU; b) in the US to Guardian News & Media, 315 West 36th St, New York, NY 10018; and c) in Australia to Guardian News & Media, Level 3, 19 FosterSt, Surry Hills, New South Wales, NSW 2010.
For all payment of expenses in respect of Contributions commissioned by our agents, please follow instructions provided by the relevant agent.
GNM may request that you make yourself available to follow up your Contribution with an interview (“Interview”) for the purposes of its audio and/or audiovisual output including but not limited to the daily podcast “Today in Focus”.
In consideration of GNM arranging to film and/or record the Interview with you at a mutually convenient time, you agree to the recording and/or broadcasting of the Interview and hereby give all consents necessary for the reproduction, exhibition, transmission, broadcast and exploitation of the Interview without time limit throughout the universe by all means and media (whether now known or hereafter discovered or developed) without liability or acknowledgement to you. GNM shall be entitled to cut and edit the Interview as it sees fit and shall not be obliged to include all or any of the Interview in any programme or output.
Subject to any agreement to the contrary, the copyright status of Contributions created, produced and/or undertaken jointly by staff employed by us and freelance(s) and/or news and picture agencies engaged by us shall be deemed a joint work between us and the respective freelance(s) and/or said agencies, for example jointly written articles. The copyright terms of the non-staff element shall be subject to the above Copyright terms.
Editing and crediting
GNM reserves the right to edit and amend Contributions as it sees fit.
GNM endeavours to identify contributors as the author of their Contribution however the provision of contributor by-lines shall always be subject to editing and layout requirements.
Click here for our picture crediting policy.
Unless otherwise agreed, contributors shall be credited in the credits section of the relevant video page.
“Commissioned Contribution” means material created by you on the basis of a commission from us for transmission, publication or licensing by us. For the avoidance of doubt, in relation to pictures and video “Commissioned Contribution” includes the whole shoot and all negatives, transparencies, digital pictures, unused footage and other original material produced by the contributor during and/or as a result of the shoot.
“Contribution” means material contributed to us - whether as a Commissioned Contribution or otherwise ordered in by or offered to us for publication, transmission or licensing by us. Contributions may appear in whole or in part in any size in any part of the Licensed Products in all sections, magazines and programmes thereof and supplements thereto including special or sponsored supplements without limitation on inside pages, front pages and covers, section covers and supplement covers, in galleries, individually or in sequence, in colour or in black and white.
An “edition” means any print, electronic, audiovisual or digital version or any regional, national or international variation of a single issue of a Licensed Product and a “single issue” means each day’s, week’s, month’s or year’s (as applicable) new version of each Licensed Product.
“External Archives” means both subscription and publicly available databases such as those provide by Lexis-Nexis, Factiva, Proquest and government and educational institutions. Access is offered to users for research purposes to material from multiple published sources.
“Guardian Digital Network” means our digital network accessed via browsers and/or apps or any other means on any device or equipment including but not limited to desktop computers, PDAs, mobile phones and tablet devices and any other connected devices, and incorporating wwwhlcarpenter.com or any affiliate or successor websites, digital/IPTV television, RSS feeds and embedded image digital text feeds, GNM social media presences, and any other website, app, digital product, network or channel bearing our trademarks or brands.
“Licensed Products” means the following publications and products in their various languages made available by us on a free-to-consumer or charged for basis: all formats and editions (including but not limited to print, electronic, audio, audiovisual and digital products) of hlcarpenter.com, The Observer, Guardian Weekly, hlcarpenter.com Digital Network, all editions (including printed, electronic and audio editions) of Guardian & Observer book imprints (including Guardian/Faber or successor imprints), and all other publications and products made available by us or licensed by us anywhere in the world.
In the case of Contributions commissioned or ordered in by GNM or their appointed agents on a “Supported by” or “Paid content/paid for by” basis (as more fully detailed here), Licensed Products may include but not be limited to sponsored supplements, advertorials, branded print or website sections, microsites and interactives published by GNM, and in furtherance of the advertiser’s or funder’s campaign all media wholly-owned by or bearing the trademarks or brands of GNM’s client and/or funder(s) and/or their official social media presences.
“Newspaper Licensing Agency” (aka the NLA) is a limited company whose shareholders consist of eight UK national news media publishers. It was set up in 1996 to offer anyone - sole traders, companies, educational institutions and any other body - a one-stop shop for a licence to photocopy, digitally copy or transmit cuttings of the UK’s national news media and many regional and foreign titles, too. It has reciprocal relationships with reprographic rights organisations overseas.
“Syndication” means the direct or indirect re-licensing to third parties in English and other languages of repertoires of material we have acquired for such purpose and/or published or broadcast in the Licensed Products and “syndicate” shall be construed accordingly. Under our syndication agreements, clients are permitted to integrate our content into their own platforms and products for agreed purposes which may include commercial, non-editorial purposes. Our clients are worldwide and include by way of example Microsoft, Yahoo, Gulf News, Irish Times and the South China Morning Post and users of hlcarpenter.com Open Platform. Revenues can be but are not limited to subscription fees and advertising share and where they can be attributed to individual items of content contributors normally receive a share of such revenues on a net receipts basis.
“Spot Sales” means the direct or indirect transactional sale or licence to third parties in English and other languages of individual items of content we have acquired for such purpose and/or published or broadcast in the Licensed Products. A licence fee for such reproduction is usually negotiated, the licence being for agreed purposes which may include commercial, non-editorial purposes, and contributors normally receive a share of revenues on a net receipts basis.
“Stock Imagery” means pictures, illustrations and artwork that are (i) submitted to us on or after 1 September 2009 and are not Commissioned Contributions of pictures; or (ii) retrieved from existing internal or external collections and archives, and may have been used, published or transmitted, either by us or by another publisher, on occasions prior to the relevant use in our Licensed Products.
Delivery of contributions
All Contributions should be filed electronically. Delivery instructions are set out below and in our confirmations. If electronic delivery is likely to be impractical, you should discuss this with your commissioning editor.
For all Contributions commissioned by our agents, please follow instructions provided by the relevant agent.
Details of our insurance cover for freelances working abroad on commissioned assignments are available on request from your commissioning editor. The Managing Editor must be informed if you are travelling to a war zone (or other high-risk assignment) on our behalf. Your commissioning editor should normally do this for you.
It is not our intention to expose freelances to dangerous assignments without appropriate safety training and insurance cover. If you have any concerns in this area you should consult the Managing Editor or their nominee(s) before starting the assignment.
You undertake both during and after the expiring or termination of this Agreement:
a) to protect and treat confidentially all confidential, trade secret or proprietary information regarding GNM, including all technical, commercial, financial and other information which is obtained from GNM in connection with this Agreement or with the negotiations leading up to it; and
b) not to disclose to any person or company, publish, or use for your own purpose, without the previous written consent of GNM, any of GNM’s confidential information, the existence of any term of this Agreement (other than terms already set out in the public domain by GNM), or the existence of any information about any dispute or disagreement between the parties; and
c) to disclose such documents and information to third parties only so far as it is necessary:
i) for the performance of this Agreement; and/or
ii) to your professional advisers; and/or
iii) as required by law.
The obligations of confidentiality set out above shall not apply to any documents or information which you can show:
a) at the time of their acquisition were in, or at a later date have come into, the public domain, other than following a breach of this clause; or
b) you knew prior to first disclosure to you by GNM; or
c) you received independently from a third party with the full right to disclose.
The provisions of the Confidentiality section shall survive any termination or expiration of the Agreement (for whatever cause or reason).
If you are in the US, pursuant to the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, you shall not be held criminally, or civilly, liable under any Federal or State Trade secret law for the disclosure of a trade secret that is made in confidence either directly or indirectly to a Federal, State, or local government official, or an attorney, for the sole purpose of reporting, or investigating, a violation of law.
Moreover, you may disclose trade secrets in a complaint, or other document, filed in a lawsuit, or other proceeding, if such filing is made under seal. Finally, if you file a lawsuit alleging retaliation by GNM for reporting a suspected violation of the law, you may disclose the trade secret to your attorney and use the trade secret in the court proceeding, if you file any document containing the trade secret under seal and do not disclose the trade secret, except pursuant to court order.
You further understand that no sections in this Agreement, is intended to or shall limit, prevent, impede or interfere with your right, without prior notice to GNM, to provide information to the government, participate in investigations, testify in proceedings regarding GNM’s past or future conduct, or engage in any activities protected under whistleblower statutes, or to receive and fully retain a monetary award from a government-administered whistleblower award program for providing information directly to a government agency.
You hereby represent, warrant and undertake that:
a) You shall not at any time do anything to bring GNM’s brands, trademarks or reputation into disrepute; and
b) You are entitled to enter into this Agreement and you are not bound by any third party restriction not to do so, including, but not limited to, the right and authority to license the intellectual property rights in and the use of your Contribution on the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement; and
c) Your Contribution shall be original and not copied wholly or materially from any other source, nor contain defamatory statements nor otherwise breach the privacy, confidentiality or other statutory or common law rights of any third-party; and
d) You shall observe the highest ethical standards in providing your Contribution under this Agreement as part of which you shall be expected: i) to have full regard for GNM’s own Editorial Code; ii) to co-operate fully in the event of a complaint about your Contribution to the Press Complaints Commission or GNM’s internal ombudsman; iii) to inform GNM immediately of any actual or potential conflict of interest arising from any engagement or contribution or service You undertake for GNM; and iv) to abide by GNM’s social media best practice guidelines for freelance contributors.
GNM shall indemnify you against any claims of or liability to any third party in respect of defamation on the same basis as staff journalists PROVIDED THAT:
a) no gross misconduct or negligence can be attributed to you relating to the relevant material; and
b) you co-operate fully with GNM in its response to the claim; and
c) you do not engage in discussions with a complainant without GNM’s prior agreement.
Status of Contributors and Suppliers as Independent Contractors
GNM’s policy regarding charitable donations of contributor fees is as follows:
a) contributors may receive fees themselves and make their own direct donation to a charity of their choice; or
b) contributors may request GNM to make a donation on their behalf to GNM’s nominated charity or charities.
For contributors in the UK, in the event of a dispute between an individual freelance and us, a joint panel, comprising where appropriate either the NUJ General Secretary or another and the Managing Editor (or their nominee(s)), will attempt to resolve the matter amicably.
For contributors in the US and Australia, queries concerning the performance of this Agreement should be addressed in the first instance to your commissioning editor.
The construction, validity and performance of this Agreement shall be governed by the laws of England and each party submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England.
If you want to offer us a Contribution you should consider which section of the newspapers or websites is most likely to be interested. Contact the commissioning editor for this section - ideally by phone or email - and briefly outline your idea.
The commissioning editor may offer to “take a look” at your proposed Contribution. This means that you are invited to submit it speculatively and you will be paid only if your Contribution is published.
Unless you are already an established contributor, it is most unlikely that the editor will “order” or commission a Contribution from you.
Please do not send pictures or artwork unless we request them. We do not accept responsibility for loss of unsolicited prints, transparencies, etc.
Contributions should be sent to us electronically. Other methods are possible - but only in exceptional circumstances.
We publish Contributions from all freelances on our standard copyright terms and payment is at our normal rates, unless agreed otherwise before publication. Please note that the copyright and payment terms are different for Commissioned Contributions.
Click here for GNM’s release form containing our terms and conditions for restricted material.
This form may only be used with the authority of GNM’s Rights Department which can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7713 4575.
The copyright terms of the original Freelance Charter were agreed at a Committee of Inquiry attended by Guardian News & Media Ltd, the National Union of Journalists and other interested parties in February 1999 and pertained to written contributions.
The Freelance Charter, subject to any other agreement to the contrary, was incorporated into GNM’s freelance contracts and commissions for written contributions effective 01 April 1999. Copyright terms for other content formats have been added since this date.
Click here to view all revision history relating to the Freelance Charter.