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Written-off: How the Indian news media deals with its freelance journalists

Credits: Wikimedia Commons

In late February last year, we carried out an informal survey of freelance journalists in India. The questionnaire itself was ad hoc, but the trends that emerged were clear—most freelance journalists in this country are perceived to be the stepchildren of the Indian news media. Though some indications are there, we want to come up with concrete numbers. Hence, this—the first ever research study about the status of freelance journalists in India. We wanted to look at job (in)security, payment defaulters, general working conditions, legal frameworks, copyrights, arm-twisting tactics of news establishments, et al.

The entire survey was carried out online. There were 50 questions in all, broken down into six sections. The total number of respondents was 793. Quite a few responses--43 in all-- had to be excluded from the survey for being incomplete or inconsistent. The survey was carried out over a 15-day period in March-April 2008. The results could not be compiled and published within the promised period because of logistical constraints.

Date posted: January 13, 2009Last modified: May 23, 2018Total views: 9