Freelance commissions: key things to know

Below is a short list of the key points you need to know when accepting a commissioned freelance assignment from GNM.

Last modified on Wed 2 Sep 2020 11.27 EDT

1 All commissions fall under the terms of our Freelance Charter where GNM’s full terms and conditions are available. Other agreements may be more suitable and should be discussed with the Rights department (

2 At the time of commissioning, you and your editor should agree terms, including the fee to be paid, allowable expenses, the deadline, length etc. and the main points to be covered in your contribution. GNM will send you a confirmation by email.

3 All fees are subject to GNM’s minimum rates and will be paid within 30 days of publication unless otherwise agreed in advance. Details concerning GNM’s terms of payment, including requirements for US contributors, can be found here.

4 Unless otherwise agreed, you will be reimbursed for reasonable expenses wholly and necessarily incurred in the preparation and delivery of commissioned contributions. Expense claims shall be conditional upon submission of a properly itemised claim with copies of all receipts attached no later than one calendar month following the date on which the expenses were incurred.

5 You warrant and agree that:

  • a) You shall observe the highest ethical standards, including abiding by the’s own Editorial Code and GNM’s social media best practice guidelines for freelance contributors, and co-operating fully with GNM in the event of a complaint about your work;

  • b) You shall inform GNM immediately of any actual or potential conflict of interest;

  • c) You shall not bring GNM’s reputation into disrepute;

  • d) Your work shall be your own and of the highest quality, and shall not be defamatory or constitute contempt of court;

  • e) Any material in your work which is sourced from others shall be properly attributed, and all facts substantiated and checked for accuracy (on submitting your contribution, any concerns regarding factual accuracy should be declared to your editor);

  • f) Your work may be edited as we see fit, usually for clarity, length and tone, and you will respond to any request for information, fact-checking or changes in a timely manner; and

  • g) Any use of anonymous sources shall be agreed with your editor in advance of submitting your contribution.

6 You retain the copyright in text, picture and artistic contributions and grant to GNM a licence covering our publishing and commercial needs, including syndication rights which are held by GNM exclusively for 90 days for text and 60 days for pictures and artwork from the date of first publication. Different terms apply to audiovisual contributions. Any amendment(s) to our standard copyright terms need to be agreed prior to publication by contacting

7 Subject to local laws regarding so-called “moral rights”, GNM endeavours to assert on your behalf your right to be identified as the author of your work.

8 GNM indemnifies freelance contributors against defamation claims on the same basis as staff journalists (subject to your compliance with our procedures).

9 You are responsible for all tax liabilities arising out of any paid assignment.

10 GNM can provide on request details of our insurance cover for freelances working abroad on commissioned assignments. The Company Secretary must be informed if you are travelling to a war zone (or other high-risk assignment) on GNM’s behalf.

11 In the case of Contributions commissioned or ordered in by GNM or their appointed agents for the purposes of commercial editorial products to support client promotional campaigns, Licensed Products may include but not be limited to sponsored supplements, advertorials, branded web sections, microsites and interactives published by GNM, and in furtherance of the same campaign all media wholly-owned by or bearing the trademarks or brands of GNM’s commercial client and/or its official social media presences.

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