The Association of Independents in Radio and Public Radio News Directors Inc. have published guidelines to assist freelance reporters in negotiating pay rates with stations.
The guidelines use a scale model that assigns three tiers to the experience levels of producers and also accounts for the effort spent on pieces. They also take station budgets into account.
The suggested pay for a beginning-level reporter working on a “superspot” — a short-turnaround story involving minimal effort — is $100–$150. On the high end of the scale, an advanced-level reporter working on an “advanced feature” involving extensive research and a sophisticated narrative would command a pay range of $500–$900.
AIR modeled the guidelines after similar suggested rates it developed for NPR in 2002 and for American Public Media’s Marketplace in 2012. But it stressed that the new guidelines are intended for local stations and that national organizations should continue to follow the previously suggested pay scales. Susanna Capelouto, former news director at Georgia Public Broadcasting, headed the initiative, first announced in October.
The guidelines also include suggested rates for other freelance services, including editing and tape syncs. AIR has posted a contract template on its website and will host a Feb. 24 webinar about the subject. Space for the webinar is limited; register here.