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The Critics' Code


The Critics' Code

A pledge for pay


Published: 18/03/2016

Skilled professionals should be paid for their work, yet a growing number of businesses are asking writers and broadcasters to provide their services for free. The undersigned members of The Critics’ Circle Film Section voluntarily pledge to uphold the value of professional criticism and help safeguard the future of quality journalism by respectfully requesting a fee for their expertise in print, online and for broadcast. 


  • As writers and broadcasters, we make a living from our words and expertise. We have bills and mortgages to pay and families to support.
  • Exposure is not payment. We will support new ventures, but if a start-up company cannot afford to pay writers a modest fee, it cannot afford to launch a publication. Writing costs must be in the budget.
  • We do not accept a market in which only the independently wealthy can afford to be journalists. New writers may wish to offer a trial article without a fee, but this should not be a long-term arrangement.

Kaleem Aftab
Geoff Andrew
Nicholas Barber
Joanna Barry
Nikki Baughan
Anne Billson
Mark Brown (Scotland) 
David Buckman
Paul Callan 
Nina Caplan
Ali Catterall
Jeremy Clarke
Keith Clarke
Roger Clarke
Rich Cline
Robbie Collin
Rita Di Santo
David Edwards
Angela Errigo
John Fallas 
Clare Finn
Sloan Freer
Paul Gambaccini
Charles Gant
Matt Glasby
Marianne Gray
David Gritten
Finn Halligan 
Billy 'Chainsaw' Houlston
David Hughes
Wendy Ide
Larushka Ivan-Zadeh
Sheila Johnston
Alan Jones
Marshall Julius
Emma Kauldhar
Mark Kermode
Karen Krizanovich
Wendy Lloyd
Demetrios Matheou
Dominic Maxwell
Mike McCahill
Allen Robertson
Adam Smith
Anna Smith
Neil Smith
Matt Trueman 

The following are not Critics' Circle members and have signed the pledge in solidarity:
Tim Baros 
Martyn Conterio
Peter Cook
Hugh K David 
Marian Evans
Darren Fewins
Sophie Mayer

Neil Mitchell
Craig Skinner
Will Storr 

> To add your name to this list, email