Freelancers - Media

Why MEAA is for Freelance media workers

Fair Rights for Freelancers logo

More than half the media workforce work in insecure or freelance employment. But with MEAA, you are not alone.

Whether you work from home, or in a cafe, or in a shared office space, or on-site – MEAA membership gives you the expertise and community of a professional association and the protection and solidarity of a trade union.

MEAA has an official National Freelance Committee (see below). MEAA Media organisers who represent freelancers are:

Director – MEAA Media section: Adam Portelli
MEAA organisers: Tyron Butson (NSW); George Bath (Vic); Tiffany Venning (WA); Angelique Ivanica (SA); Adam Portelli (Tas).
MEAA Member Central: 1300 65 65 13;

  • Freelancers make up a large amount of MEAA’s Media Section members. We currently number around 1200 out of about 5000 Media members nationally.

    To represent these freelance members’ concerns to the Federal Council and National Media Section (NMS), we have formed an official National Freelance Committee.

    The Committee has several freelance members, representing different professions that are part of the media industry. Committee members meet on a regular basis throughout the year through online hookups.

    Specific committee members who are also elected delegates, report back to Federal Council and NMS on issues, concerns and provide input from the Freelance Committee into MEAA’s overall future direction and strategic plans.

    The work we do on the National Freelance Committee is voluntary. Members may join and leave the Freelance Committee as they need to.

    We aim to:

    1. Give MEAA staff direction at both Freelance Committee and Federal Council level to help us address issues or provide services for members.
    2. Create and promote campaigns around freelancer issues and concerns such as #changetherules or #fairrights4freelancers.
    3. Create and promote other actions designed to inform, educate or put pressure on governments, employers and other organisations to improve working rates and conditions.
    4. Whenever possible, with MEAA staff assistance, create and implement solutions to address the needs of both freelance members and non-members in the industry,
    5. Generate information and educational resources for members and non-members within the industry to access.
    6. Be a point of contact with information for non-members wishing to join MEAA.

    The National Freelance Committee is made up of:

    Fran Molloy
    Kate Hennessy
    Gregory Hall
    Linda Vergnani
    Vivien Pearson
    Aarti Betigeri
    Nigel Bowen
    Nance Haxton
    Guy Mosel
    Jennifer Mills
    Marisa Wikramanayake
    Sandra Godwin
    Merran White
    Helen Razer
    Clem Bastow
    Madonna Deverson
    Jane Canaway
    Martin Hirst
    Liz Murray
    Soolagna Mujumdar

  • 1. RATES – MEAA sets award rates for professional employee journalists and makes recommendations for equivalent charge-out rates for freelancers. Our Rate Tracker shows members which publications pay fair rates – and which ones don’t.
    2. LATE PAYMENTS – MEAA organisers can assist members negotiate with late payers.
    3. STANDARDS – MEAA can advise members on publications which are not treating other freelancers fairly. Download our standard freelance commissioning terms, which provides a model contract template for use by freelance journalists.

    MEAA provides advice on copyright, fair contracts, negotiations, moral rights. MEAA Member Central and our industrial team help members to get the best outcome for any difficulties they are facing in the workplace. Call MEAA Member Central on 1300 65 65 13.

    Superannuation. Through our partnership with Media Super, we are also able to provide information and advice about superannuation. More information is available at Media SuperYou can also view Media Super’s information for contractors.

    Know your rights. Under super regulations, an employer has to make minimum Superannuation Guarantee (SG)  payments if you earn over $450 from that employer in a calendar month. It’s also possible you may be covered under an industrial award that has a specific superannuation provision.

    Familiarise yourself with the superannuation regulations and if you think you should be receiving entitlements, the ATO has a process to help you investigate and claim any unpaid superannuation.

    See MEAA’s web page on superannuation for freelancers.

    READ: some simple tips to avoid being ripped off

  • MEAA Media section members are bound by the MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics – click to read the code plus a step-by-step guide to the complaints process. MEAA Media members will educate themselves about ethics and apply the Code’s standard to their journalism.


    MEAA Journalist Code Of Ethics

    340.11 KB 2027 downloads
    Last update: November 14, 2018


    FAQs - MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics

    766.63 KB 1986 downloads
    Last update: July 29, 2016

  • Freelance Pro gives minimum legal training for freelancers to avoid defamation and other media law breaches.

    MEAA’s FreelancePro membership has been developed especially for freelancers.

    FreelancePro members have access to professional indemnity and public liability insurance at market beating rates, contract advice, a media access card, and accredited training in media law and other areas of professional development.

    In addition to what all our MEAA freelance members receive, Freelance Pro membership offers:

    •   Thanks to the strength of our collective membership, MEAA now provides FreelancePro members with optional professional indemnity and public liability insurance up to $1 million, (default limit) at substantially less than what you would pay on the open market to help your freelance business dollar go further — and it costs just a few dollars extra a week. We can also arrange cover in excess of $1 million at a discount rate.
    •   Contract advice.
    •   Media access card.
    •   Freelance Pro trustmark.
    •   Accredited training in MEAA’s Journalist Code of Ethics and the latest developments in media law.

  • MEAA provides events and training year round.

    Media law training for freelancers

    Date: Saturday, February 27
    Time: 10am-3.30pm

    Media law has become a minefield for journalists. Defamation, qualified privilege, contempt of court, freedom of information, hate speech and vilification, privacy, copyright and court reporting, have all undergone massive changes in recent years. Are you up-to-date?

    MEAA will be hosting a one-day Media Law Training Course for Freelance Pro members online on Saturday, February 27.

    The course is led by Grant McAvaney, in-house lawyer at the ABC and will be held via Zoom.

    This is free for MEAA members but places are limited and bookings are essential.


    Cyberculture: ONLINE COURSE open now

    This online course examines key social issues brought about by the widespread use of the Internet. Discover problems unique to online content with particular emphasis on the eye-opening & rarely discussed psychological differences between trolls and other types of cyberhaters. Learn powerful techniques to help protect ourselves and others from devastating online hostility. MEAA member discount of 25%. Use the code MEAA25 to obtain your discount. On successful completion of the Cyberculture unit, participants will receive a digital badge. This badge can be used as evidence of professional development to use on your LinkedIn profile, resume and credit towards further studies.

    AFTRS Open Short Courses

    AFTRS Open, the short course program of The Australian Film Television and Radio School, offers MEAA members a 10% discount on all its short courses. AFTRS Open offers an extremely broad range of short courses for actors, media and crew throughout the year from Screen Acting and TV Presenting, to iPhone Content Creation and Videomaking, Cinematography, Directing, Screenwriting, Producing, Factual TV, TV Production and much more! For course details visit the AFTRS Open website. For queries contact AFTRS Open on 1300 065 281

  • Freelance journalist and MEAA Media Victorian President Marisa Wikramanayake has put together a package of resources especially for freelancers working during the coronavirus pandemic. You can find them here.


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