Southern Ontario freelancers wanted for research study on precarious work

A group of researchers is seeking freelancers in Southern Ontario to participate in a study on insecure employment.

The study is part of a multi-year project exploring poverty and precarious employment in the area (PEPSO). The organizations leading the project include the School of Labour Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton and the United Way of Greater Toronto.

Freelancers will be asked to complete a short survey and a 60 to 90 minute interview about their working conditions. Those who are selected for the study will receive a $40 honorarium for their participation.

Participants must be between 25 and 55 years old and work at least 8 hours a week for pay. Full time students are not eligible to participate.

For more information, you can contact Anthony Tambureno at tambur@univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca. To apply, go to this Surveymonkey page.

Posted on October 21, 2014 at 10:37 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: 

Friends and colleagues mourn freelance writer and instructor Mark Anderson

News of the death of Ottawa freelance writer and journalism professor Mark Anderson was greeted with an outpouring of sadness and dismay late last week. J-Source reported yesterday that Anderson died of complications related to throat cancer on October 16th at the age of 51.

Response on social media came, in large part, from Anderson’s former and current students at Ottawa’s Algonquin College. The Edmonton Journal’s Stuart Thomson wrote this poignant piece in remembrance of his former teacher on Medium on Friday.

In addition to being a valued teacher and mentor to many, Anderson was also a talented freelance writer specializing in outdoors and business writing. He was nominated for numerous National Magazine Awards during his more than 25 years in journalism.

Patrick Walsh, Editor-in-Chief of Outdoor Canada, tweeted a farewell to Anderson, his “friend, colleague and star writer.”

“Mark was one of those writers who editors love,” Walsh told Story Board via email yesterday.

“Not only did he come up with great story pitches and win the occasional award for the magazine, he was also a pleasure to edit. Actually, ‘edit’ is too strong of a word. A ‘light dusting’ was all Mark’s work ever needed. And as a bonus, he was an avid angler, and an excellent one at that—he was named several times to represent Canada at international fly-fishing tournaments.”

Above all, said Walsh, Anderson was “simply an all-round nice guy, and a pleasure to work with.”

“He brought so much to our magazine. He will be sorely missed.”

Posted on October 21, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Oct 15-20

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 October 20, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

NewZulu Canada fills a need with its photography crowdsourcing platform

Legal cases that have arisen over improper use of photos sourced from social media over the past few years have demonstrated a growing need for a better system for crowdsourcing citizen journalism.

Enter platforms like NewZulu — a crowdsourcing platform that recruits users to upload their photos of news events for potential sale to news outlets. NewZulu recently opened a Canadian office and established a partnership with the Canadian Press, an arrangement that both parties say paves the way for a better approach to crowdsourcing – one that will see citizen journalists paid and properly credited for their work.

Allendria Brunjes, senior editor with NewZulu Canada says that she and other Canadian staff have been building up the community of users since early August.

“The idea is that really we’re just helping news organizations with their content. We’re a crowdsourced news platform and we validate the content, make sure it’s authentic, that it actually happened and that the person who said that they took the photo actually did take that picture,” Brunjes told Story Board in a phone interview earlier this week.

Photographs are vetted for authenticity by staff journalists as well as through direct contact with contributing photographers on the scene at breaking news events.
Read the rest of this post »

Posted on October 16, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Oct 7-14

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 October 14, 2014 at 9:01 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Jesse Brown launches Patreon campaign to fund his independent podcast, Canadaland

Canadaland logo

by Rachel Sanders

Jesse Brown saw an empty space on the Canadian media landscape. So he filled that niche with Canadaland, a weekly media criticism podcast that started a year ago this week.

Over the past year, Canadaland has built up an audience of over 10,000 listeners. That’s a number that has been steadily climbing. But a year in, Brown has found that sponsorship is not enough to support his work.

So this week he launched a crowdfunding campaign. Unlike many of the journalism crowdfunding projects we’ve seen over the past few months, Brown is running his campaign through Patreon. The crowdfunding platform, which was founded in May 2013, allows fans to support creators with monthly donations.

Within an hour and a half of its launch on Monday, Canadaland’s Patreon campaign had surpassed its first milestone — $1000 a month to cover costs and keep the show going. At the time of this posting, the campaign is creeping towards its second milestone — $4000 a month to improve the show and increase its frequency to twice a week. Brown says that if he reaches $10,000 a week he intends to hire other freelance journalists and create a podcast network.

Brown spent a few minutes on the phone with Story Board earlier this week to talk about crowdfunding, niche journalism and following your obsession.

 

Q: What inspired you to start Canadaland?

A: The lack of any media criticism in Canada – ranging from serious approaches like On The Media to satirical approaches like the Daily Show or gossipy stuff like Gawker. I like that stuff and I find it interesting and informative and funny and there was nothing like that here.

And then as somebody who’s been working in the media for the past fifteen years, I was aware that that was what everybody always talked about, were those subjects. Privately. And then there was a sense that you weren’t allowed to talk about it publicly. And I thought that was ridiculous. So I pitched it around in various formats, as a newspaper column, as a CBC show, on television, as a radio show, as a podcast for Macleans, and I got a variety of excuses or rejections with different reasoning. Very commonly I was told that nobody wanted to hear that kind of stuff if it was about Canadian media. So I decided to do it on my own.

Read the rest of this post »

Posted on October 8, 2014 at 1:42 pm by editor · One Comment · Tagged with: , ,

Applications for the Canadian Nieman Fellowship now open

The Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellowship is currently accepting requests for applications for the 2015-16 academic year.

The fellowship offers a Canadian journalist the opportunity to take a mid-career sabbatical to study at Harvard University. Freelancers are welcome to apply.

Applications are open to print journalists, photojournalists, editorial cartoonists, columnists and broadcast journalists who have been in the media industry for between 5 and 10 years. Applicants must be Canadian citizens.

The deadline for applications is February 3, 2015.

You can read more about the Canadian Nieman Fellowship here or email canadiannieman@gmail.com for an application form.

Read the rest of this post »

Posted on October 7, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · 2 Comments · Tagged with: ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Sept 30-Oct 6

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 October 6, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

The Born Freelancer on the Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation, Part 3

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. 

 

Recently The Born Freelancer sat down with CBMF Executive Director and lifelong freelancer Kealy Wilkinson to discuss a number of important issues relevant to freelancers in Canada today as seen in the context of our broadcasting heritage. Today in the third and final part of our three part wide-ranging conversation Ms. Wilkinson expresses her conviction that if there is still hope for the CBC (and continuing work opportunities there for freelancers), it may well be as a result of public input at the most recent CRTC hearings just wrapped up entitled “Let’s Talk TV”. Part One of our conversation is here; Part Two is here.

 

Does it really make any difference to get involved in a public forum like “Let’s Talk TV”?

It’s all we’ve got. And if we don’t make our views known, if we don’t play a role, then we can’t blame anybody but ourselves for what happens. The CBC isn’t solely to blame for the mess we’re in. It’s been functioning in an environment that’s almost 30 years old under legislation that is completely inapplicable today. Successive governments of Canada have completely failed to grasp the need for updating that legislation.

And what is the single most important element to update?

I think you have to start by looking at the CBC’s mandate to determine if the mandate of a contemporary national public broadcaster would be identical to the mandate detailed in 1991. Times have changed. We have the web. There’s a whole lot of different ways now that people use media. It may well be that certain of the CBC’s delivery systems could be changed over time, to eventually be transferred from transmitters to web-based delivery systems. But we have to be really careful about that.

Without transmitters we have no emergency broadcasting back-up. When the power goes out, if it wasn’t for radio nobody would know what is going on without “over the air” radio. We know the weather is getting worse, a little bit more threatening perhaps and I think the availability of emergency radio has never been more critical. You can’t do that on the web. It would be folly for the CBC to think about transferring all of its radio services to internet only systems. Doing that would put the nation at risk [in times of emergency].

Read the rest of this post »

Posted on October 3, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Humber College Print Humour Workshop coming up in New York

Got jokes? Dream of publishing your humour writing? Humber College is gearing up for a two-day humour writing workshop in New York City later this month.

Humber Comedy Program director Andrew Clark says the workshop will be a very practical event for people who want to get their work published — or those who’ve already been published but are looking to branch out into humour.

The event’s organizer Mike Sacks is a humourist, critic and an editor at Vanity Fair. He says this is the first writing seminar of its kind because of its focus on humour writing specifically geared to print.

“It will be a very nuts and bolts seminar. Usually these types of seminars are taught by writers who don’t make a career in comedy writing. Everyone involved in this seminar–from agents to editors to the writers–have all made a living, often a great living, in the realm of comedy writing. So the information will be very applicable to a young writer: how to get published, how to get an agent, how to sell a comedy piece to a magazine,” Sacks told Story Board via email this week.

Top level names in writing, editing and agenting will be participating in the workshop, including Larry Doyle (Simpsons, New Yorker), Teddy Wayne (Vanity Fair, New Yorker, The Love Song of Jonny Valentine), Sam Lipsyte (Home Land, The Ask), Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There’d Be Cake), and others.

The event is scheduled for October 18th and 19th. It will run from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day and costs $255CAD to attend. To find out more or to register, check out Humber College’s event page.

Posted on October 1, 2014 at 11:19 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,