New Media

Welcome to the New Media information page.

Bernie Su talks Twitter & Facebook at the WGAW’s
Social Media Week event.
Photo: Paula Lauren Gibson/AfroPix
Karen Chupka, Eliza Dushku, and Jane Espenson at CES in LA: Writing the Future. Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof greets the crowd at CES.

New Media includes all writing of audio-visual production intended for the Internet, mobile devices, evolving technological devices such as the iPad, or any other platform thought of as “new media” by the industry as of the start of the 2008 MBA.

Figuring out how to perform writing services for a New Media project under a WGA contract is simple and easy. For a quick overview of how to cover your writing services in New Media, take a look at the easy-to-use ‘Checklist For New Media Projects’ by clicking here.


To best understand what the WGA contract (aka the Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA)) says regarding your New Media project, you must first determine which type of New Media project you have. There are currently three (3) different types of New Media content that are covered by the Guild. Each category has different stipulations under the MBA pertaining to minimums, residuals, credits, pension & health contributions, separated rights, etc.

Original Programs Made for New Media

This category includes new, original content made for initial distribution on the Internet, mobile devices, or other emerging technologies. Examples include Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, The Bannen Way, Wainy Days, and Back on Topps. Click here for more info about contracts, residuals, etc. for Original Programs.

Derivative Programs Made for New Media

A derivative new media program is one that is based on a pre-existing TV program of a type traditionally covered by the MBA. There are many variations of this, such as “spin-off” derivative content that features a character from the show in new situations, i.e. Kenneth the Web Page, based on NBC’s 30 Rock and Mode After Dark, based on ABC’s Ugly Betty. Sometimes derivative content creates new characters that exist within the pre-existing world or situation of the TV show, such as Heroes: The Recruit. Still others explore a different time period in the lives of the characters on the show, such as Little Monk, based on USA Network’s Monk. Click here for more info about contracts, residuals, etc. for Derivative Programs.

Traditional Programs Reused in New Media

This category includes feature films or television programs that are made available for viewing in New Media – whether streaming, rental or permanent download. Of course, the original movie or show must have been produced by a signatory company under the MBA. Reuse of Traditional Media occurs when users watch Grey’s Anatomy on, Ghostbusters on or download episodes of How I Met Your Mother on iTunes. Click here for more info about contracts, residuals, etc. for Reuse of Traditional Programs.


For an overview of the entire New Media landscape, this basic guide covers the terms and conditions for hiring writers on new media projects under the 2011 Writers Guild of America Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement (“MBA”). Because the guide is intended for both writers and employers, we have avoided using the legal language of the MBA, and no attempt has been made to restate every contractual detail. If there is any inconsistency between this guide and the provisions of the MBA, the MBA will, of course, prevail.

Click here to download the Guide as a PDF.
Click here to view the Guide online.


This is a ready reference for writers and staff members who propose writing credits, prepare and submit NTWC to the Guild for Guild signatory production companies, and gather materials for credit arbitrations on New Media projects. Read the guide.


The WGAW is dedicated to helping WGAW members understand and work in the emerging New Media universe. If you are a WGAW member or a WGAW Caucus member who wants to stay on top of the WGAW’s efforts in New Media, including panel and special event announcements, sign up for our New Media Updates list.



Saturday, November 9
1-5 p.m. – WGAW 2nd Floor.

WGA and Caucus members in active status, no guests. RSVP: WritersEd with “Digital” as subject. Writers Education Committee, Latino Writers Committee and New Members Committee present a "how-to" for current and future writer/creators of digital media. Put on your entrepreneurial hat and get the scoop on producing, distributing and monetizing your digital media from show creators and executives currently creating and distributing content online. First panel of content creators: Giselle Achecar (EcoRicoTV), screenwriter/game designer Flint Dille, Eric Small (10,000 Days), Gregory Storm (Storm Factory) and Evette Vargas (Dark Prophet). Second panel of executives includes Kathleen Hahn (YouTube’s Manager, Partnerships & Entertainment), Will Keenen (consultant/past VP, Maker Studios) and others. Networking happy hour follows.


Shelagh Wagener, New Media Field Representative/Organizer

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“We chose to become a signatory now because it affords us tremendous opportunities as writers while allowing our company access to the vast WGA talent pool."--Doug Cheney, Big Fantastic