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CMG Freelance is now on LinkedIn!

If you use LinkedIn to promote and grow your freelance business, we’d love to connect with you there.

CMG Freelance now has a company page on LinkedIn, where we’ll be publishing Story Board posts as well as other posts of interest to independent media, creative, knowledge, IT and communications professionals.

LinkedIn is just the latest addition to our presence on social media. If you’d like to get Story Board updates in your social media feeds, you can find us on Twitter or join our private Facebook group. And CMG Freelance also has its own Twitter account, which you can find and follow right here.

We also post job listings, calls for pitches and other opportunities on our email listserv The ‘Lancer. The ‘Lancer is part of the benefits package available to CMG Freelance members.

For more information about the cost and benefits of membership, check out this page on the CMG Freelance website.

 

Posted on August 21, 2018 at 4:08 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Aug 14-20

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

  • The 5-Minute Freelancer Q&A #37 — Leanne Allen: Leanne Allen is an award-winning producer, photographer and actor based in Victoria. She produces a television program called Culture Vulture TV, which explores the arts, entertainment, lifestyle and food in the Okanagan and on Vancouver Island…
  • The Born Freelancer Asks: Do We Ever Dare Take a Holiday? The fear most paramount in our minds is, of course, that during any holiday an offer of work will come up and by missing it we will lose a new wonderful revenue stream…

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on August 20, 2018 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

The 5-Minute Freelancer Q&A #37 — Leanne Allen

In this regular feature, Story Board asks Canadian freelancers to share a few details about their work habits and their strategies for navigating the ups and downs of freelance life. 

 

Leanne Allen is an award-winning producer, photographer and actor based in Victoria. She produces a television program called Culture Vulture TV, which explores the arts, entertainment, lifestyle and food in the Okanagan and on Vancouver Island.

Her eclectic career led her through the worlds of print and radio before she moved into television production. She previously created and published an alt weekly print magazine and hosted a show on CBC Radio.

Leanne took the time to speak with Story Board recently about the hustle of freelancing, the importance of taking risks, and the power of being small.

Where did your career in media start?

Back in 2000 when I was living in the Okanagan I saw a niche that wasn’t filled and that niche was for an alt weekly. I had seen Monday Magazine in Victoria. That was the alt weekly that I read. And when I moved to the Okanagan for a year – I wasn’t planning on doing anything in media, I was getting some practicum experience for an MA that year – but I really noticed a niche. And it’s the typical story, I felt like my voice wasn’t out there and it needed to be.

It’s called Off Centre Magazine. Off Centre still exists, I think, but just barely. It was bought. I started it in 2000 and sold it in 2007 and then I ran it for another year.

So you decided to publish your own magazine instead of writing for others because you wanted to put your own stamp on it?
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Posted on August 16, 2018 at 10:23 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

The Born Freelancer Asks, Do We Dare Ever Take a Holiday?

This series of posts by the Born Freelancer shares personal experiences and thoughts on issues relevant to freelancers. Have something to add to the conversation? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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Aside from asking what should I charge, it is probably the question I hear the most often (especially around this time of year) from novice freelancers:

“Do I dare ever take a holiday?”

It is certainly one of the key questions I continually asked myself for far too many years when I first started my professional life as a freelancer.

The fear most paramount in our minds is, of course, that during any holiday an offer of work will come up and by missing it we will lose a new wonderful revenue stream or even worse, that life changing-career making break that will win us that much sought after Pulitzer or Academy award that we secretly dream about night after night.

Reality check! It is much more likely that you will miss no such opportunities. In fact, the chances are much greater of inflicting upon yourself negative consequences regarding your health and creativity as a result of living a freelancing life consisting of all work and no play.

This truth I have learned through a lifetime of painful trial and error. In sharing my experiences I am hoping to spare you some of your own.

My evolving attitude towards holidays

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Posted on August 14, 2018 at 10:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Aug 8-13

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

  • Media lawyer advises freelancers to beware of indemnity clauses: As indemnification clauses continue to appear in freelance contracts, one media lawyer advises freelancers to be careful what they sign. Daniel Burnett, with Vancouver’s Owen Bird Law Corporation, said the potential consequences of indemnifying a publication against expenses that might arise from a defamation lawsuit could be devastating…

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on August 13, 2018 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Media lawyer advises freelancers to beware of indemnity clauses

As indemnification clauses continue to appear in freelance contracts, one media lawyer advises freelancers to be careful what they sign. Daniel Burnett, with Vancouver’s Owen Bird Law Corporation, said the potential consequences of indemnifying a publication against expenses that might arise from a defamation lawsuit could be devastating.

“Indemnity for a possible lawsuit that might arise from something a freelancer writes, to a typical freelancer, would be like their life savings, potentially. Because litigation is so expensive,” he said.

Burnett has been practicing media law for close to 30 years and is among the most prominent lawyers in the country in the areas of freedom of expression and media law. He has served as lead counsel on landmark cases in the Supreme Court of Canada. Although he is not involved in either the publisher or freelancer side of negotiating freelance contracts, he has heard about the increasing prevalence of indemnification clauses. He has not seen specifics, but says the trend is concerning.

“If a media publisher got an article written by a freelancer and had the freelancer sign an agreement indemnifying them in the event of any legal action, that would mean indemnifying them for the cost of the action, win or lose,” he said. “A lot of times with libel suits, the fees end up well in to the six figures. And a freelancer, for the sake of one article paying a few hundred bucks, might be potentially risking personal bankruptcy.”

Potential risks of liability

Burnett said that although there are some stories and articles that carry virtually no risk, he would consider most freelance assignments to have some potential risk of liability. A sophisticated freelancer, he said, will usually have some idea which stories pose a risk.
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Posted on August 9, 2018 at 8:21 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer July 31-Aug 7

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on August 7, 2018 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Mid-Summer Salvo from CMG Freelance President Don Genova

As freelancers wend our way through summer I hope everyone has some sort of opportunity to take time for yourself and not your clients.

I know, I know, freelancers never take vacation! But seriously, for your physical and mental health, take a break.

While you’re resting, just a few items to bring you up to date on the CMG Freelance world.

CBC Temps and Freelancers

The first item is so complicated it’s hard to get down in less than a thousand words. So I’ll give you the ‘elevator pitch’ version: CBC’s Business Affairs department suddenly issued an edict a few months ago that would have forced people who both temp AND freelance at the Corporation to choose one form of employment or another.

This is all tied up in concerns with the Employment Standards Act, CRA, and a perceived conflict of interest in a freelancer using their temp status to secure freelance work. Like I said, it’s complicated. What Business Affairs didn’t realize is that this ‘new way’ of doing things was causing considerable upheaval and stress for temps, freelancers, their supervisors and the admin folks responsible for administering payments.
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Posted on August 2, 2018 at 10:37 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Associate Members program welcomes new coordinator

Canada’s free union membership program for media students, volunteers, and precarious media workers has a new leader at the helm.

CWA Canada’s Associate Members program has brought Nasr Ahmed on board as its new program coordinator. He comes to the role from CBC in Toronto, where he worked for close to six years after starting out as an intern at CBC Sports.

Ahmed said he became a labour activist long before he was actually a member of a union. The Associate Members program’s focus on youth is what attracted him to his new job.

“Something that I always found troubling about the labour movement was that there wasn’t really an avenue for young voices to be heard,” he said. “There’s not really any kind of plan for people to get into the union at a young age and for there to be any kind of succession plan for the old guard. And I think the Associate Members program is a great way for young people to understand what a union is on a very baseline level and then to actually participate in the union.”

Because the membership is non-dues paying, said Ahmed, it allows young people to get involved and learn about the value of unionization early on in their careers.

“It gets them familiarized with a union, what it can do for you, what you can contribute to the union as well. It’s just a great kind of starting point for people,” he said.

Know your rights

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Posted on August 1, 2018 at 10:06 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer July 24-30

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on July 30, 2018 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,