These are tough days for everyone, self-employed journalists in particular, but you are not alone. Your union is there to help

The union's hardship fund NUJ Extra may be able to help financially. 

You could try too the Authors’ Emergency Fund and The Journalists’ Charity.  

Should any NUJ members, involved in critical work face, difficulties from the authorities, then please contact the NUJ. Your union will make representations on behalf of any members whose work is clearly in the public interest. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The International Federation of Journalists also has this advice on Coronavirus safety.

And journalists may have to deal with traumatic situations while reporting on COVID-19. Guidelines from the Global Investigative Journalists network. 

If you need to contact NUJ staff, log in to the website to access phone numbers of the union's full-time officials. The union's offices are now closed. Meanwhile, if possible, the NUJ would like to hear from freelance members about how the present emergency is affecting you. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the Netherlands, the self-employed can apply for temporary financial support under the TOZO (Tijdelijke overbruggingsregeling zelfstandig ondernemers) scheme.

You are entitled to three month’s income support up to a social minimum of approximately €375 a week. The exact amount depends on the composition of your household and your income. You do not have to repay this. There is also no asset and partner test. There are qualifications, however. You must be registered with the Chamber of Commerce (although this might be relaxed to only ID card), be resident, legally, in the municipality, and work at least 1,225 hours per year (Approximately three days a week).

Check for possible updates and your eligibility as rules might be relaxed as a result of lobbying efforts from various stakeholders.

See Coronavirus: Dutch government adopts package of new measures designed to save jobs and the economy

Extra tijdelijke ondersteuning voor zelfstandigen zonder personeel (zzp’ers)

Vragen over de Tijdelijke overbruggingsregeling zelfstandig ondernemers (Tozo)

Applications can be made through your local authority up to 1 June 2020. For Amsterdam, see Ondersteuning voor zelfstandigen / zzp'ers

If planning to apply, call the Chamber of Commerce if you need more information: KVK-coronaloket: Koophandel Adviesteam: 0800-2117 (opening hours 8.30 to 17.00 o‘clock). 

People can also appeal to the regular unemployment benefit (WW) or social assistance (bijstand) under the Participation Act (Participatiewet).

Also helpful is the Dutch union the NVJ’s website on freelancers and corona: Corona crisis voor journalisten and Financiële hulp en uitstel van betalingen 

And finally, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen warned this week: "now, it is more important than ever that journalists are able to do their job freely and precisely, so as to counter disinformation and to ensure that our citizens have access to crucial information".

Statement by President von der Leyen on emergency measures in Member States

That’s why we are journalists. Anyone in difficulties or want to share experiences do contact the branch: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

So stay healthy, stay home if you can, and if your work takes you out, stay safe.

With meetings banned and government advice to stay home, journalism and news gathering are shifting inside to digital media, online contacts, teleconferencing.  However, as in the UK, journalists and photographers have been designated, key workers. We have an important and responsible role to fulfill. The UK’s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, Oliver Dowden, has confirmed in a tweet the importance of journalism right now.

Meanwhile, acting deputy chair of the Dutch NVJ Renske Heddema has said: “Journalism - indeed - has a vital function for the oxygen of society”

It may, as in photography, be essential to be outside in order to carry out our work properly. 

If so, take press credentials with you, try to avoid groups or public transport, keep two metres from anyone else, and return home as soon as possible. See for health advice.

Please share with Netherlands NUJ your problems, experiences, and tips of how to survive these extraordinary times. Where, at all possible, stay in, work from home, stay safe.

See also! 

Government emergency help for ZZPers

You may be suffering financially from the crisis. Remember freelance journalists like all the self–employed (ZZPers) are entitled to emergency income support for three months. Your income will be topped up to a national minimum, or social, wage to cover your cost of living expenses, approximately €375 a week. Apply online now through your local council, for example in Amsterdam

The system is also up and running in Utrecht, Rotterdam, and Groningen. Previous rules that you must have a viable business or fall back or savings or a partner’s income do not apply.

Amsterdam has already reported 5,000 applicants so it could be two to three weeks before any money is paid out.

However, announcing the plans Social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees acknowledged that the self-employed stand in ”the frontline” and feel the consequences of lost work the most.

The Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs has a contact number for Coronavirus issues 0800-2117 and can also be tweeted on @KvK-NL.

See information and advice from the NUJ:

And, in Dutch from the Netherlands NVJ:

Useful Dutch Government info:

And from Dutch News


The NUJ today welcomed the finding of the London Central Employment Tribunal, which determined that the presenting work of Samira Ahmed on BBC’s Newswatch programme was equal to that of Jeremy Vine on Points of View.  

Read about the landmark outcome on the NUJ website.


The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has organised an event on Reporting Poverty.
The round-table takes place on Saturday 7 March at the NUJ’s HQ in London’s Kings Cross (Headland House, 72 Acton Street) from 14.00-17.00.
The event is being supported by Church Action on Poverty and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
The focus for the day will be on bringing people together to talk about –
  • Journalists – how to approach the work from an ethical perspective, stories that have made a difference, tips for people not working in the media
  • Communications and press officers – what are the challenges and successes when trying to secure media coverage about poverty
  • People in poverty –sharing their personal experience and views on media representations.

The facilitator on the day will be Chris Frost, the chair of the NUJ’s ethics council.

Please RSVP if you want to attend.

Email: Sarah Kavanagh, NUJ senior campaigns and communications officer - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the December-January issue of The Journalist Tony Sheldon reports on the growing controversy over the character Zwarte Piet.

Read it here!