Guardian is latest paper to cut freelance budgets

Guardian News and Media has become the latest national newspaper group to cut its freelance budgets.

Although exact figures have not been revealed, Press Gazette understands department heads have been told to cut freelance spend by around five per cent.

It is another blow for freelances, after The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times announced rate cuts last month.

A Guardian News and Media spokeswoman told Press Gazette: ‘Like most media organisations in the recession, we are taking the prudent steps of cutting back on our contributory budgets.”

But the spokeswoman added a 10 per cent cut, suggested in London’s Evening Standard this week, was wrong.

‘It is significantly less than the figure stated in the Evening Standard,’she said.

She added reports of existing freelances’ contracts being cut by a third were also wrong.

News International‘s cuts were denounced as ‘completely unacceptable” by the National Association of News and Picture Agencies when they were announced last month.

The Sun’s new rates were revealed as £20 for a one or two paragraph story; £35 for three to five paragraphs; £50 for six to eight paragraphs and £70 for nine paragraphs. The rates for small, medium and large page-lead stories are £100, £110 and £135 respectively.

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