Peter Fray to lead AAP project offering syndicated freelance copy

Australian news agency AAP is to launch a service offering freelancers’ work to its subscribers in a project being led by former Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief Peter Fray

AAP Newswire Exclusive will offer “an extensive roster of high calibre writers and columnists,” the organisation says. Fray will lead the recruitment proces.

Fray left the SMH in June as Fairfax media’s restructure got underway.

A spokesman for AAP told Mumbrella that fees for freelancers involved in the project are still to be settled. The organisation has approached journalists’ union the Media Alliance to keep it informed of the project.

The new offering will pay selected freelances to write a 250 word synopsis of a potential article. If  a client then commissions it, the freelance receives a further payment based on a word rate, which is yet to be set.   

Work will be sold to clients either exclusive to a single market or across multiple markets.

The spokesman said: “Peter Fray is coming on board with us as a consultant and will be involved in the recruitment process.”

The timing of the move comes as hundreds of journalists find themselves starting out on freelance careers following redundancies at Fairfax media and News Limited.

AAP editor-in-chief Tony Gillies said in a press release: “We believe there is considerable demand among our media clients for quality content from freelance journalists. This service will provide our clients with a single point of contact to access the freelance and contributor market and will offer a broad mix of features and columns.”

The statement said that AAP is already recruiting writers and columnists across topics including sport, business, lifestyle, personal finance, entertainment and opinion. The service is set to launch at the end of the month.

AAP’s major shareholders are News Limited and Fairfax Media.


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