Freelance Charter

Sentient Media relies on freelance journalists to provide content and reporting to Sentient Media, including but not limited to writing, research, interviews and photography. The following terms and conditions apply to content supplied by freelance journalists (also referred to herein as “freelancers, freelance journalists, journalists, and/or freelance writers”) and Sentient Media, a California nonprofit corporation (collectively referred to as the “Parties”). 

Freelance journalists are encouraged to pitch story ideas to the managing editor Jenny Splitter directly by emailing [email protected]. Journalists can expect a response to direct emails within at least one week, and within two days for timely stories. 

If a pitch is accepted, the managing editor and freelance journalist shall agree in writing to a fee for the proposed story, any kill-fee that will apply if the story is written and filed but not published, and the deadline by which the freelance journalist should submit a first draft. With the sole exception of non-payment of an agreed-upon kill-fee, freelancer hereby waives and releases Sentient Media from any additional claim or liability resulting from Sentient Media’s failure to publish content written by freelancer. At all times, Sentient Media shall retain sole discretion in whether to publish any article or any content.

Sentient Media rates begin at $200 per article, with the potential for a higher rate based on the freelance writer’s experience and amount of research and reporting required for the story.

Representations and Warranties

Each freelance writer represents, warrants and undertakes that:

Freelancers are entitled to enter into this charter and are not bound by any third party restriction, including, but not limited to, the right and authority to license the intellectual property rights in and the use of the freelance writer’s Contribution on the terms and conditions set forth herein; and

The Contribution shall be original and not copied wholly or materially from any other source, nor contain defamatory statements nor otherwise breach the privacy, confidentiality or other statutory or common law rights of any third-party; 

Freelance writers shall inform Sentient Media of any actual or potential conflict of interest arising from this assignment or from the publication of the Contribution; and 

Freelance writers grant to Sentient Media irrevocably and unconditionally the following rights and options to use, publish, transmit or license the Commissioned Contribution (“License”) during the Term, as defined herein:

Unless otherwise expressly agreed to by Sentient Media, all rights and options granted by way of this License shall subsist throughout the world in any language(s) on an exclusive basis for three (3) months following first publication by Sentient Media (“Exclusivity Period”) and thereafter on a non-exclusive basis for the remaining period of copyright in the Commissioned Contribution, including all renewals, reversions, extensions and revivals of such period, the Exclusivity Period and remaining period of copyright thereafter together being the “Term.”

Sentient Media shall communicate to freelancers, in writing, an expected date of publication, and shall pay freelancers within 45 days of publication. 

Sentient Media shall provide freelancers an opportunity to ensure that their work is accurate by making available, whenever possible, an edited version of the commissioned work before it is published. There may be circumstances, however, in which the urgency to publish news of significant importance (or other circumstances out of the control of Sentient Media) may make this impossible. Under such circumstances, Sentient Media’s failure to provide freelancer with edits prior to publication shall not be considered a breach of its obligations.

Freelancers agree that upon publication, the version of the article provided to the freelancer may be subject to changes that do not substantively alter the meaning of the work, including minor edits, headings and headline changes. 


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