Complete an Audit of Independent Journalism Workers

Some Pocantico attendees said a grant-funded audit of journalism workers by an entity with credibility in the journalism industry, such as Neiman or Poynter, needs to be completed to document and expose (1) freelance reporter/producer pay, rights, protections, benefits; and (2) staff reporter/producer pay, benefits, workload and productivity.

Action-Audit The audit would detail all of these working conditions as well as document how these hamper the quality of the journalism being produced. The level of diversity among freelancers vis-à-vis staff journalists could also be assessed and the reasons for that.

The aim is for the audit to be completed by late 2016.

Volunteers to see this through are:

  • Jeff Yang, Columnist, Wall Street Journal online
  • Esther Kaplan, Editor, The Investigative Fund, The Nation Institute
  • Valeria Fernandez, independent journalist
  • Ricardo Sandoval-Palos, President Board of Directors, Fund for Investigative Journalism


June 30 – Identify potential partner/sponsor

  1. Poynter, Pew, Glassdoor – Jeff Yang will contact
  2. Journalism schools – Valeria Fernandez will contact
  3. Knight at Stanford, Fund for Investigative Journalism, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Nieman Fellowships, other journalism schools – Ricardo Sandoval-Palos will contact
  4. The Nation Institute – Esther Kaplan will contact

July 30 – Outreach, gauge interest, build budget and plans – Jeff Yang and Ricardo Sandoval-Palos

September – Blueprint and Team, Phase 1, 2, and 3 – Esther Kaplan, Valeria Fernandez, Jeff Yang, Ricardo Sandoval-Palos

December – Funding, Phase 1

Fall 2016 – Audit and Delivery

For more details, please refer to Not Free As In Beer or Free As In Speech, Free As In Lance: Is Organizing Independent Journalists A Game Changer?