Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer August 26-Sept 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?

 

From Canada: 

 

From the U.S. and beyond:

 

Last week 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 September 2, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

The 5-Minute Freelancer Q&A #17 — Peter Alexander

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

 

PAlexand

Toronto writer Peter Alexander has done a little bit of everything — he’s written for print, television and the web. Recently, he’s been working on digital advertising and marketing for clients such as Virgin Mobile and Unicef. He also writes a regular column for Toronto Life. 

Peter took some time to speak with Story Board this week about how to stand out as a writer and the importance of finding time for your own creative writing — even when you have a full freelance plate and a new baby.

 

What’s the most important thing you’ve done over the years for professional development?

I would say the non-paid writing that I’ve done over the years is what’s probably the most important thing. It’s allowed me to evolve as a writer, which has positive repercussions for the paid writing. It also, I think, keeps me from getting burned out. I find that a lot of people in this industry just can’t find the time anymore, or they get burned out, or they get a little bit jaded about writing and they stop doing their own writing.
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Posted on August 29, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

www.you.com… Working your Freelance Website

by Rebecca Hass
 
photoOf all the things you put time and money into as a freelancer, a website is one of the most important self-marketing tools at your disposal.
 

Why it matters 

Your website will be the face of your business. It’s the first impression someone will have of you and your work. Vancouver social media guru Rebecca Coleman says a website is your number one resource when it comes to increasing the visibility of your freelance business. Use Twitter and Facebook to drive traffic to your website. If all goes as planned, the traffic you get will result in contracts that pay.

But if you’re like me, you’re constantly concerned about money. What will get your freelance business the biggest bang for your buck? Yes, you need a website, but how much must it cost?

You could ‘do it yourself’ on the cheap, but after a conversation with Sarah Iles and Matt Magi of the Victoria, BC design studio Voltage New Media Inc. I’ve begun to wonder about the wisdom of going the cheap route.  Matt and Sarah have been in business for five years now and they’ve seen it all — the good, the bad and, mostly, the ugly. They shared some of their wisdom for the website neophytes among us.
 

What if I want to do-it-myself? 
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Posted on August 27, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer August 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?

 

From Canada: 

 

From the U.S. and beyond:

 

Last week 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 25, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

The Born Freelancer on the Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation, Part 1

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? Your input is welcome in the comments. 

 

“If you don’t know where you’ve been, you’re never going to know where you are going” says Kealy Wilkinson, Executive Director of the Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation. The Born Freelancer recently sat down with Ms. Wilkinson to discuss a wide range of relevant topics past, present and future of particular interest to freelancers in Canada.

Kealy Wilkinson, a self-professed “long-time broadcast person who decided early on that I didn’t like being on air; I wanted to do other things” has certainly done that. She has had a remarkable career beginning as an operator/announcer on local radio in the high arctic and including (but not limited to) broadcast management, system and service design, strategic planning for the CBC, and running both the Canadian Broadcasting League and the Alliance for Children and Television. She has long demonstrated a passion for Canadian broadcasting and a knowledgeable commitment to our radio and television history. Throughout all those years, says Ms. Wilkinson, she has never held a staff position, preferring instead the freedom and flexibility afforded her by being a freelancer.

 

What are the objectives of the Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation?

It was created in 2001 as a national non-profit organization with the mandate to collect, preserve and celebrate the radio and television legacy of Canada.

Why is that important?

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Posted on August 22, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Apparent execution of journalist James Foley a terrible reminder of the risks freelancers take

News outlets are reporting today on the apparent death of American freelance journalist James Foley. Foley, who had been reporting on the Middle East for such outlets as Agence France-Presse and GlobalPost, was kidnapped in Syria nearly two years ago. Yesterday, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants posted a video online that appears to show Foley’s execution.

In the video, ISIS also threatened to kill another American freelance journalist, Steven Sotloff, who disappeared in northern Syria in August of 2013.

The Washington Post published an article early this morning about the risks of conflict zone reporting and the types of journalists who often assume those risks.

“Their capture and Foley’s apparent execution raise fresh questions about how important conflicts across the globe are covered — and the dangers freelance journalists, eager for bylines, face to report them,” the article says.

As traditional media outlets struggle with decreasing budgets and shy away from sending staff reporters to dangerous areas, freelancers — enticed by the possibility of reporting on important stories for high-profile publications — are increasingly stepping in to fill the gap. Without the backing of any employer, these people quite often cannot afford insurance, guides or translators, leaving them extremely vulnerable in some of the world’s most dangerous places.

“Journalists are taking big risks to report the news,” says Lise Lareau, vice-president of the Canadian Media Guild.

“And freelance journalists are especially vulnerable in risky situations because they often have no organization behind them and no safety net. We need to support each other and push the media organizations — who are clearly hungry for the reporting — to take greater responsibility for protecting freelancers.”

 

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 12:08 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer August 12-18

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?

 

From Canada: 

 

From the U.S. and beyond:

 

Last week 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 18, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Working Journalists aims to improve conditions for Chicago-area freelancers

by Rachel Sanders

10333814_1426465570954532_3443413193922490937_oRob Dicker felt totally secure in his position as staff photographer with Pioneer Press. He had skills, seniority and a great relationship with his manager. So it came as a total shock when he was called into a meeting in May 2013 by his newspaper’s corporate owner, Sun-Times Media.

The company laid off its entire full-time photography department that day, Dicker among them. It was a stunning move that made headlines internationally. Newspaper staff everywhere felt the ground shifting beneath them yet again.

Dicker is now the acting unit chair of Working Journalists, the new freelance branch of the Chicago Newspaper Guild. Working Journalists is just one of a number of freelance organizations that have sprung up worldwide over the past few years — an indication of the direction in which journalism is moving.

“The fact of the matter is, staff journalism could very well be on the way out,” Dicker told Story Board during a phone interview earlier this week.

“I’m not going to be the first one to declare that it’s dead, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the writing on the wall,” he said.

That’s why he’s been an enthusiastic supporter of the freelance unit since the idea first arose.
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Posted on August 14, 2014 at 10:38 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,

Freelance Friday! A funding workshop for interactive digital media creators

CMG Freelance is inviting digital media workers and game developers to a Freelance Friday workshop this week that will focus on applying to the OMDC Interactive Digital Media Fund.

Attendees are invited to bring their project ideas and will have the opportunity to draft grant applications and get feedback from the workshop leaders: Kim Gibson from the OMDC, Catherine Feraday Miller from Rocket 5 Studios, and Alex Jansen from @PopSandbox.

The workshop is scheduled for Friday, August 14 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at Bento Miso (862 Richmond Street, Toronto)

Attendance is free for CMG Freelance and Bento Miso members, $20 at the door for non-members. Check out the Eventbrite page for details and to reserve your spot.

Posted on August 12, 2014 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer August 6-11

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?

 

From Canada: 

 

From the U.S. and beyond:

 

Last week 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 11, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,