Freelance journalists play an essential yet often overlooked role in many newsrooms. Freelancers can deliver fresh story ideas and enterprising investigations on tap, help publications to reach new audiences, provide more diverse voices, plug gaps in staff rotas and step in to offer last-minute support on busy news days. Yet they are also one of the most under-supported and at-risk sectors within the media industry.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced problems faced by many freelancers including late payments, below-market rates, uncertain work schedules and threats to personal safety. This international panel of freelancers will share their thoughts and experiences about the realities of working as a freelance journalist today and what steps newsrooms can take to better support freelancers and benefit from their work.