With newspapers dying, unions seek freelance journalists

With more than 8,000 buyouts and layoffs at newspapers throughout the country so far this year, and more than 15,000 newspaper jobs lost last year, there are a lot more freelance writers and editors on the market. I'm one of them.

To help them better deal with the new marketplace, unions that are losing members at newspapers are stepping up to form unions for freelance journalists looking for help with setting wages, finding group health care and other benefits.

One such union is forming in the San Francisco Bay Area, which organizers say would be the first freelancers unit in the country officially tied to a local office of The Newspaper Guild.