Requesting Access to Freelance Agreement

"I would love to see a boilerplate template that a freelancer could send an outlet, rather than the other way around." —Print and radio reporter and photojournalist, former newspaper, radio and wire staffer, from FIRE's 2015 freelancer survey



FIRE recently realized a longstanding demand from the field—a template for freelancers and outlets to use as a story contract.  

With the help of former Bloomberg News Global Media Counsel Charles Glasser, FIRE developed the free template story agreement for independent journalists and the outlets who work with them. To learn more about the Template, visit this summary of its features

To request free access to the template as a PDF emailed to you, fill out the form below.  

The FIRE Contract Template is not legal advice, should not be construed as such, and is made available by FIRE for educational and informational purposes. It may or may not be appropriate or helpful for your particular circumstances. You are solely responsible for your own decisions, including whether or how to use this template—and for securing legal advice to make those decisions. FIRE makes no representation or warranty for any particular fitness of purpose and cannot be held responsible for reliance upon this template leading to any claims.

The template is the copyrighted property of FIRE. Based on the Application for access, and in our sole discretion, FIRE is making this template available to qualified applicants: those who would use it to strengthen and promote freelance investigative reporting for publishers and/or broadcasters serving the public interest.

Any qualified applicant who fills out the form below should expect to receive an email with the template within five business days. For a time-sensitive request, please indicate the nature of the urgency below.

On the understanding that FIRE will keep all correspondence strictly confidential, for internal use only, I:

  • agree to help FIRE improve and document the utility of its service by providing brief feedback on how I ultimately use the template—including any proposed alteration or excerpt of the template, and reason for such action
  • understand that pro bono legal counsel may be available on use of the template, in whole or in part, or in any altered form—but is not guaranteed
  • agree to notify FIRE in the event that I thank or credit FIRE in any form (e.g., Facebook, Tweet, blog, published article, etc.) for the use of this tool in public-interest reporting
  • acknowledge that the FIRE Contract Template (the “Work”) is an original work of authorship owned exclusively by Investigative Reporters and Editors, for FIRE, which hereby grants me a revocable, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to use the Work solely for the purpose and in the manner described above.

For all email correspondence and any questions on this matter, please email application@firenewsroom.org, using “Contract Template” in the subject line.

FIRE will not use your contact information for any other purpose besides emailing you the template and sending you periodic newsletters, unless we secure your written permission to do so.