If you are contributing material to our website, you must read, understand and accept the following Terms. If you contribute material, you will be deemed to be doing so in full knowledge and acceptance of these Terms. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Unless otherwise agreed in writing by a local publisher, these Terms apply to all Publications (including the title publishing these Terms) produced by WHAT NEWS. These Terms set out our agreement with professional freelancers (including news and photo agencies) and all other external contributors to our Publications who are commissioned by us or who submit Work which we accept in writing or by use, including casual contributors of stories, story ideas, and images, bloggers and ‘citizen journalists’ who we authorise in writing to upload blogs to our websites, (in each case “you” or “your”).

Non-commissioned user-generated content (“UGC”), which is published directly by casual contributors on our websites, including website comment pages, is not governed by these Terms but rather by local user terms posted on the relevant website itself. UGC is not edited, selected or otherwise pre-moderated by us but uploaded directly by the contributor, liable in law for such material.

In these Terms:

“Publication” means any print title, website, database, archive or other publication or product (existing now or created in the future) in any medium or format (existing now or created in the future), including print, electronic, audio, video and digital publications and products. All that publication’s or product’s issues, editions, versions, parts, archives, supplements, digests, and spin-off compilations of articles, however, accessed (including my PC, tablet, other portable devices), and however delivered (including online services, news feeds, apps, social media or additional digital delivery).

“Work” means any copyrighted work as defined in copyright legislation (including written material in articles and letters, photographs, sound, video and graphic materials) which is commissioned by us or submitted to us and covers all material gathered or created in connection with a Work which is background material or which remains unused.

References to the “use” of a Work include reproduction, display, publication, transmission, distribution, storage and any other use or re-use in whole or part and translation into any language.

Any words following the words ‘including’, ‘include’, ‘in particular’, ‘for example’ or any similar expression shall be construed as illustrative and shall not limit the sense of the words, description, definition, phrase or term preceding those words.

Unless the context otherwise requires, words in the singular shall include the plural, and in the plural shall include the singular.

Notices required to be in writing may include emails.

By submitting to us any Work for our use, or by agreeing to prepare Work or contributing Work to any of our websites, you agree to be legally bound by these Terms, which will immediately take effect. If you do not agree to be legally bound by all of the Terms, you must not accept a commission from us. If you do, you will be deemed to have read, agreed and accepted these Terms.

This agreement replaces and supersedes any existing agreement between you and us in relation to your Work, which automatically ends on your submission of Work to us under these Terms.

This agreement between you and us is subject to the laws and the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

No variation

These Terms cannot be varied except with the express written agreement of the Editor of WHAT NEWS. We may change these Terms at any time, and it is your sole responsibility to check online for any changes before you offer any Work or accept any commission from us to produce Work. Any Work supplied to us for use is deemed to have been delivered in acceptance of the most recent version of the Terms as displayed on the relevant Publication’s website at the time of your contribution or commission. Your continued or renewed contribution of Work after such changes are posted means you agree to be bound by these Terms as they have been amended.
Grant of Rights in the Work

You retain the legal copyright in the Work. By your agreement to these Terms, you give us the rights in the Work which are set out below. Subject to these Terms and in particular the proviso for commissioned Work below, Our rights in the Work are non-exclusive, which means that you can also use the Work as you wish at the same time as we use it.

We specifically commission an original Work, or you are a trusted blogger or citizen journalist. You give us the exclusive right to use the Work in any medium as permitted by these Terms. If there is a delay of more than 90 days from our receipt of the Work to its first use by us, then you may apply to the Editor for a written waiver of our exclusive right to first use, which will not be unreasonably refused.

While you retain copyright in the Work, We shall have the following rights (some of which may overlap), which are worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable and sub-licensable:

  • the right to use and re-use the Work in any of our Publications;
  • the right to syndicate or make spot sales of the Work (directly or through agencies) for its use in Publications published by third parties;
  • the right to use your Work in any archive or database in any medium or format and to make such archive or database available to the public (whether or not for a fee);
  • the right to edit, amend, cut, translate or otherwise alter your Work as we may consider appropriate;
  • the right to make compilations of your Works for the same uses licensed by this agreement;
  • the right to authorise the third party electronic information providers to use your Work as used in our Publications in their databases in any medium or format for searching and copying by their end-users and to sub-license your Work for use in Publications by their third party publisher customers;
  • in the case of Work commissioned or purchased for commercial editorial uses, such as sponsored supplements or advertorials, the right to authorise the use of the Work in the Publications of our commercial clients;
  • the right to use the title, format and any pseudonym associated with the Work; and
  • the right to use the Work and any image of you or other personal details for publicity or marketing or any other purpose in connection with the exercise of our rights under this agreement with you.

Suppose you exercise any of your retained rights in respect of the Work. In that case, you agree to ensure that your use will not conflict with our use of the Work or any other of our legitimate commercial interests. You will procure an acknowledgement to us and our relevant Publication in any further use you might make of your Work, together with a link to the Work on our appropriate website wherever possible.

You acknowledge that as a matter of law, moral rights do not arise in connection with current affairs reporting or any publication in newspapers or magazines, but to the extent that moral rights may apply to any use of a Work permitted under this agreement, you waive all such moral rights unless otherwise expressly agreed in writing with the Editor. However, we will try to maintain the author’s by-lines in our Publications where we can.

We reserve the right to seek from you a written assignment of copyright if we think it necessary.


We will only pay a fee and a share of syndications and spot sales that has been expressly agreed in writing by or on behalf of the Editor of the relevant Publication in advance of commission or on acceptance of a Work. Otherwise, your Work is considered, commissioned or accepted by us without a fee or share. You agree that the opportunity to have your Work considered or published for use by us is adequate consideration for the rights granted to us in this agreement. If a fee is agreed upon, it will be a single all-inclusive fee for all the above rights. The price will be fixed at our prevailing standard rates, as may be published and varied from time to time, unless otherwise expressly agreed in writing by the Editor. The fee includes the cost of delivering the Work and all expenses incurred by you in researching and creating it, except for any expenses specifically approved in advance by the Editor in writing. Provided that the Work is delivered and complies with these Terms (and any additional or substitute terms agreed in writing), payment will be made at the end of the month following the month of our first use of the Work.

No obligation

We are not under any obligation to use your Work. If we have commissioned a Work from you and a payment is agreed, but we do not use the Work, you will be paid in full subject to these Terms (unless the Work has been rejected because it does not comply with our editorial standards). Suppose you are not commissioned but submit a Work speculatively, and it is initially accepted for use for an agreed fee. However, we decide later not to use it for any reason. In that case, you will not receive a payment, but all rights in the Work will revert to you. No Work is accepted under these Terms unless and until it is expressly accepted in writing (including email) by the Editor or by an authorised person acting on the Editor’s behalf or used by us as permitted under this agreement.

Your Warranties and Indemnity

You warrant in respect of the Work you offer or contribute that:

  • it is your original work (or you have the right to authorise us to use the Work) and (unless otherwise stated by you in writing) it has not been previously published in print or online;
  • you have obtained any necessary consent or licence required for our use of the Work under this agreement, and our acceptance or use of the Work will not infringe any person’s rights, including copyright and other intellectual property rights, performance rights, or rights of privacy or confidentiality, data protection or any other right;
  • in producing your Work, you have complied with the Data Protection Act 1998;
  • your Work is not defamatory of any person or other legal entity; and
  • our acceptance or use of the Work will not put us in contempt of court or otherwise in breach of civil or criminal law (including laws relating to harassment, trespass, bribery or disclosure of personal data).

Our Editorial Standards

Our reputation is essential to us. If you are a professional freelancer, you agree that you will produce the Work to the highest professional and ethical standards, including compliance with the Editorial Code of Practice of the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

We reserve the right to reject a Work (and cancel any agreed fee) that in our opinion:

  • does not comply with the Editorial Code of Practice or which otherwise puts you in breach of these Terms; or
  • does not achieve a suitable standard of editorial quality.

In respect of any Work of yours that has been commissioned, accepted or used by us:

  • you will tell the Editor without delay if you become aware at any time of any information that may cast doubt on information or claims affecting or contained in your Work or any other legal or compliance risk relating to the Work; and

Suppose you become aware of any complaint about your Work at any time. In that case, you should not reply to the complainant but rather notify the Editor of WHAT NEWS immediately in writing.

We will have sole control over handling any complaint about your Work, and you will cooperate fully with us to resolve it.

You will ensure that you keep all your notes and research materials. If we ask, you will provide us with such messages and materials, together with all other relevant background information and access to your sources where reasonably necessary for compliance or legal purposes.

You will not mention or discuss a complaint with any person without the Editor’s prior written approval.

If you are a professional freelancer, you confirm in respect of your contribution of any Work that you are an independent self-employed contractor, and we shall not be liable for any of your acts or omissions in connection with the Work you submit. You are solely responsible for paying all your taxes and national insurance, and you are not entitled to any pension or other benefit offered to our employees.