Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Oct 11-16

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, publishing, 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:

  • 2018 Dalton Camp Award deadline December 1: The deadline for the 2018 Dalton Camp Award is approaching. The annual essay competition is open to submissions until Friday, December 1. The competition awards the best essay (or essays) about the link between democracy and the media in Canada…
  • Pay-what-you-can financial planning for low-income freelancers: Chris Enns specializes in helping people with variable income get their financial houses in order. The Toronto-based financial planner and opera singer offers online personalized financial counselling services through his practice From Rags to Reasonable…

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 October 16, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

2018 Dalton Camp Award deadline December 1

DCAlogo The deadline for the 2018 Dalton Camp Award is approaching. The annual essay competition is open to submissions until Friday, December 1. The competition awards the best essay (or essays) about the link between democracy and the media in Canada.

The competition is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Essays must be written in English and not exceed 2000 words in length.

The Dalton Camp Award was founded by the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting in 2002. Last year, a prize of $10,000 was awarded to the winning essay, and a second prize of $2500 was awarded to a student submission.

For more information or to submit an entry for the Dalton Camp Award, check out this page on the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting’s website.

Posted on October 13, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Pay-what-you-can financial planning for low income freelancers

Chris EnnsChris Enns specializes in helping people with variable income get their financial houses in order. The Toronto-based financial planner and opera singer offers online personalized financial counselling services through his practice From Rags to Reasonable.

This fall Enns has added a social enterprise element to his business: pay-what-you-can financial planning services for people who earn less than $30,000 a year as individuals or less than $45,000 as a family.

Ten percent of every dollar that comes into his financial planning business goes towards low-cost financial services for people who can’t afford his regular rates. Enns is also supporting his pay-what-you-can services through a Patreon campaign.

Enns told Story Board recently that the scheme is off to a good start.

“It’s already afforded me the opportunity to work with a few great people who wouldn’t normally be able to afford one-on-one financial help,” he said.

Story Board spoke with Enns earlier this year about how good financial planning can help artists and freelancers maximize their creative potential. You can read that interview right here.

Posted on October 12, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Oct 3-10

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, publishing, 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:

  • Upcoming Doc Project mentorship program deadline October 15: Good news for freelance radio producers: there’s another deadline coming up this month for the CBC Doc Project Mentorship Program. You’ll need to get your pitches in by October 15th to be considered for this round of documentary production…
  • Crafting the “Reactive Story” — Reworking News Stories Into Web Features: If you’re as ADD as most writers I know, you probably spend a bit of your day on social media and get a significant amount of your news from what your friends are posting or tweeting. And, if you’re in story-hunting mode, (and you should always be in story hunting mode), you might think of a fresh angle and, even better, have the perfect editor to pitch it to…

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 October 10, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Upcoming Doc Project mentorship program deadline October 15

imagesGood news for freelance radio producers: there’s another deadline coming up this month for the CBC Doc Project Mentorship Program.

You’ll need to get your pitches in by October 15th to be considered for this round of documentary production. The Doc Project is open to CBC employees and Canadian freelancers with demonstrated experience with audio. Past freelance mentorship program participants include CMG Freelance members Willow Yamauchi and Rebecca Hass.

To find out if you’re eligible for the program — and for details about the application process — you can check out the Doc Project page on the CBC website as well as this Story Board post.

Members of CMG Freelance also have access to an archived webinar with CBC producer Tanya Springer on how to pitch to The Doc Project. If you have your membership number, you can log in to the CMG Freelance website and go to this page for access to that webinar. If you’re a new member and have not yet received your membership number, please send an email to freelance@cmg.ca for assistance.

Posted on October 4, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,

Crafting the “Reactive Story” — Reworking News Stories into Web Features

by Steven Threndyle

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 10.14.07 AMIf you’re as ADD as most writers I know, you probably spend a bit of your day on social media and get a significant amount of your news from what your friends are posting or tweeting. And, if you’re in story-hunting mode, (and you should always be in story hunting mode), you might think of a fresh angle and, even better, have the perfect editor to pitch it to.

From vice.com to vox to Slate to Salon, there are a lot of on-line outlets to hit up and, unlike magazines, they’re hungry for content. Here’s an example of a story I sold to Vice.

In early June, rock climber Alex Honnold successfully free climbed (without ropes, or any safety protection) the massive rock wall called El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. He got more than fifteen minutes of fame, in fact, click-bait stories about the crazy solo climber were instantly posted and reposted.

Rule #1: You MUST act fast. Honnold’s feat took place on a Saturday and most editors wouldn’t be at their desk until Monday, and with luck, you might get a story in by Wednesday or Thursday.

Rule #2: You must have a fresh angle: I initially thought, “fear.” For a mainstream audience, this story is about dealing with the fact that one false move will have you hurtling towards certain death. Being afraid of heights is a human survival instinct. I thought about comparing Honnold’s feat not to other rock climbers, but to tightrope walkers or Cirque du Soleil performers. Don’t overthink this part of it; jot down three reasons why the reader should care.
Read the rest of this post »

Posted on October 3, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Sept 26-Oct 2

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, publishing, 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:

  • Toronto Media Mixer — Beyond Diversity: From the “appropriation prize” fiasco, to the editorial decision to protect the identity of a woman who used a racial slur, these incidents over the last few months have highlighted the need for more discussion on how to diversify the voices, stories and editorial control in the Canadian media…
  • Webinar — The Art of Lifestyle Writing: One of the best things about lifestyle journalism is how much this beat is about real life. From what we should be eating, to how to interact with our partners, to which health issue matters the most in the community, lifestyle journalism has the power to change how people live…

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 October 2, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Toronto media mixer: Beyond Diversity

Toronto-area media students and freelancers, you’re invited to the free Beyond Diversity mixer on Wednesday, October 11th from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Page One Cafe (106 Mutual St).

From the “appropriation prize” fiasco, to the editorial decision to protect the identity of a woman who used a racial slur, these incidents over the last few months have highlighted the need for more discussion on how to diversify the voices, stories and editorial control in the Canadian media.

This mixer and discussion that will bring together journalists and freelancers to tackle these issues. Drawing on personal experience, they’ll share advice for navigating a career path in the industry, while also changing it from within. They’ll discuss strategies for making and claiming spaces for black, brown and indigenous voices; equity policies and practices that news organizations should be implementing; and how we can better support each other in building sustainable careers.

Featured speakers include Alicia Elliot, a Tuscarora writer living in Brantford, Ontario whose essay “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground” won a 2017 National Magazine Award, and Vicky Mochama, who writes about race, gender, politics and culture as the national columnist for Metro News Canada.

This is event is being organized by CMG Freelance and CWA Canada. Tickets are free, but please register to reserve your space at this link. There will be time before and after the panel to network and chat with other freelancers, media workers, students, and guest speakers. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

 

 

Posted on September 27, 2017 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Webinar: The Art of Lifestyle Writing

Yh3VAPgpOne of the best things about lifestyle journalism is how much this beat is about real life. From what we should be eating, to how to interact with our partners, to which health issue matters the most in the community, lifestyle journalism has the power to change how people live.

If you’d like to learn more about lifestyle writing, join us on Wednesday, October 11th at 3:00 p.m. E.T. for a webinar with writer Arti Patel called “The art of lifestyle writing.

In this workshop, you will learn skills necessary for lifestyle writing: how to interview lifestyle experts, how to find good lifestyle stories, and the importance of hearing from various voices.

Webinar leader Arti Patel is an award-winning reporter and editor with a focus on health, women’s issues, relationships, and awareness around racism and gender equality. She started as an intern at Huffington Post Canada’s Toronto office and worked as an editor in the lifestyle department for almost six years. With a deep passion for storytelling that goes back to her Ryerson University journalism days, she has also dabbled in long-form features on mental health and divorce, produced videos and hosted several segments for lifestyle channels.

You can register for the webinar at this link. CMG Freelance and CWA Canada Associate Members can use their membership numbers to register. For a limited time, CMG Freelance is making live viewing of our webinars available to non-members. If you’d like to watch this one, you can use the special code “Storyboard” in place of a membership number.

Archived webinars are available for viewing by CMG Freelance and CWA Canada Associate Members on this members-only page on the CMG Freelance website. Subjects of previous webinars include financial planning, social media and cyber security for freelancers.

Students, volunteers and emerging media workers can sign up for a free CWA Associate Membership right here.

For information about the price and benefits of CMG Freelance membership check out the CMG Freelance website.

Posted on September 26, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Sept 19-25

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, publishing, 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:

  • Call for interviews with freelance and contract media workers: Have you worked as a freelance or contract employee in digital journalism in Canada or the United States at any time between 2013 and 2017? Researcher Errol Salamon would like to hear about your experiences for a textbook on labour issues facing media workers in North America..
  • The 5-Minute Freelancer Q&A #35 — Geoff Dembicki: Geoff Dembicki got into journalism at a strange time. He graduated from Carleton University’s journalism program in 2008, when the financial crisis and other troubles were causing the folding and downsizing of newspapers around the world…

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 September 25, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,