NPR and the Association of Independents in Radio unveiled a new payment structure for freelance contributors that provides a 7.5 percent increase to station-based and independent radio producers. The change, announced by interim news chief Margaret Low Smith to take effect immediately, includes a three-tiered compensation system and establishes standardized rates for tape syncs.
"NPR’s decision to increase rates, which comes at a time of tight budgets, is intended to reflect our commitment to the vital network of station-based and independent reporters whose contributions enhance our programming every day," Smith wrote in her Jan. 1 email.
It took nearly a year of negotiations with AIR and internal consultations within NPR to adopt the new rate system, according to AIR President Sue Schardt.
NPR has also agreed to create an online portal for outside contributors. "We believe this resource will serve to reinforce AIR and NPR’s mutual commitment to clarity, transparency, and to cultivating a broad and diverse pool of public media talent," Schardt wrote in an email to AIR members.