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Twelve per cent of the commissioning editors questioned said freelancers were responsible for more than three quarters of their content

The market for freelance journalists is strong, with almost a third of newspaper and magazine commissioning editors saying that at least half of the editorial content of their publications is produced by freelancers.

The survey of more than 200 commissioning editors by Daryl Willcox Publishing (DWPub) found that a new influx of freelance talent on the market due to redundancies across many publishing companies is mirrored by significant demand for freelance journalists.

Twelve per cent of the commissioning editors questioned said freelancers were responsible for more than three quarters of their content, and almost one in five (18%) said between half and three quarters of content was commissioned out to freelance journalists.

The ability to tap into expert views (69%) and specific subbing, interviewing or production skills (62%) were cited as the main drivers for using freelancers. One in three respondents said they looked to freelance journalists to provide last minute cover.

The freelance market may be buoyant but direct feedback from editors shows that exploiting opportunities relies on hard work, persistence and a good work ethic. When it comes to the selection criteria for freelance journalists, top of the wish list is articles they’ve written before (86%) followed by recommendations (72%). Just over half of commissioning editors said titles that freelancers had worked for previously influenced their decision.

Reliability and the ability to hit deadlines were also cited by respondents as key attributes for the freelances they chose to use. As one editor wrote: “The most important thing to me in a freelance is their ability to deliver accurate, well-written copy on time. I also need them to be able to understand their brief and the readership that their article is aimed at.”

But although a proven track record is a fast track to a successful freelance career, a professional qualification in journalism doesn’t appear to influence commissioning editors in their choice of contributors.

Another commissioning editor commented: “Knowing the readership of the publication, and sending through targeted pitches that suggest an awareness of or interest in the magazine and its structure, is far more likely to get an untried freelancer a commission than a blanket pitch with no information on their areas of expertise or how their ideas could fit in to our existing format. Referencing a specific piece we've recently covered helps too.”

DWPub founder and chairman Daryl Willcox said: “Having been both a commissioning editor and a freelance journalist in the past I always knew that the freelance journalists played an important role, but this survey reveals just how much our media relies on them.”

More advice on the skills looked for in freelance journalists by commissioning editors can be found at, which also carries interviews with freelance journalists as well as media news.

The details of over 5,000 freelance journalists available for work are available to commissioning editors on

For more information contact:

Vanessa McGreevy
Daryl Willcox Publishing
Tel: 0845 370 7777

About Daryl Willcox Publishing

Online services for journalists and media relations specialists

Daryl Willcox Publishing (DWPub) is the company behind the Response Source media requests service, the FeaturesExec media database, and, a directory of freelance journalists for commissioning editors. DWPub focuses entirely on online information services for journalists and PR professionals. DWPub brands enjoy widespread recognition with both the press and the PR community. DWPub is a UK-owned independent company and has grown every year since its launch in 1997. The company was founded and is run by an experienced journalist.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of ResponseSource in the following categories: Business & Finance, Education & Human Resources, Media & Marketing, for more information visit