Urban Worker Skillshare April 29 in Toronto

conference.share.squareIf you’re in the Toronto area, come and join CMG Freelance and the Urban Worker Project for a day-long workshop and after party for freelance and contract workers.

It’s happening on Saturday, April 29th from 9:30 to 6 p.m. at Story Arts Centre, Centennial College (951 Carlaw Avenue). It’s an opportunity for freelancers to get together, network and share resources.

There will be lawyers, accountants and other experts leading sessions on the business side of self-employment, including seminars on taxes, setting rates, writing contracts, invoicing, getting paid on time and more.

There will also be some discussion of the big picture issues we’re facing – like access to affordable housing, benefits, childcare and income security and what we can do to make change.

Participants will leave with a package that includes contract templates, resources useful to freelancers and swag from partnering organizations.

Tickets to the daytime event are being offered on a sliding scale: $20, $50 or pay-what-you-can. For details and to register for the event check out this Eventbrite page.

CMG Freelance has a limited number of free tickets to give away for this event. If you’d like one of them, you can email Don Genova at freelance@cmg.ca for a promo code. Priority will be given to CMG Freelance and CWA Canada Associate Members. Please include your CMG Freelance membership number in your email.

 

Posted on April 21, 2017 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,

Media Mixer in Toronto April 25th

Toronto freelancers, students and media workers, come out for an evening of networking and information on April 25th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Watson’s (388 Richmond St W).

This is a free event hosted by CMG Freelance, CWA Canada Associate Members and the Fairness in Factual TV campaign to explore the subject “Freelancer or Employee? Myths, Facts and Tips for Navigating the Media Industry.”  

Speakers will include Denise O’Connell, a Toronto-based journalist, writer and producer and Tassia Poynter, an employment and labour lawyer. They will share their experience and expert advice on how to navigate the media industry as both freelancers and employees. There will be a Q&A session and plenty of time for conversation and networking.

Free snacks and drinks will be provided. Freelancers, Factual TV workers, digital media workers, students, and aspiring journalists are all welcome.

Please RSVP for the event at this Eventbrite page.

This venue is wheelchair accessible and has gender-neutral washrooms.

Posted on April 19, 2017 at 6:00 am by editor · 2 Comments · Tagged with: , , ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer April 11-18

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?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

  • Freelance Skillshare and community building opportunities: Considering the freelance route, jumping from the nine-to-five into the freedom of midnight keyboard sessions in your PJs? Terrified but excited, and not sure where to go for information? While there are a lot of resources out there, they’re mostly online with very little of the personal touch…
  • Access Copyright Payback claim period open until May 31: The 2017 Access Copyright Payback claim period is open from April 1st to May 31. If you’re a writer or visual artist who was affiliated with Access Copyright as of December 31, 2016, now is the time to submit a claim for this year’s payment…
  • Media Mixer in Ottawa April 20: Ottawa media workers, students and freelancers: mark your calendars for an exciting evening of mentorship and networking. You’re invited to a media mixer on April 20th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Clocktower Brew Pub…

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 April 18, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Freelance Skillshare and Community Building Opportunities

by Amanda Maxwell

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Urban Worker Project co-founder Andrew Cash speaks at the Vancouver Skillshare event. Photo by Don Genova

Considering the freelance route, jumping from the nine-to-five into the freedom of midnight keyboard sessions in your PJs? Terrified but excited, and not sure where to go for information?

While there are a lot of resources out there, they’re mostly online with very little of the personal touch.

If you don’t know many freelancers, events such as the recent Urban Worker Project Skillshare workshop in Vancouver  at Creative Coworkers co-working space in Railtown can give you a taste of what freelancing is really like.

In addition to sessions on taxation, financing and software tools, attendees also learned about insurance options for self-employed workers and the networking potential in co-working spaces for collaborative projects. Small group roundtable sessions with industry experts ensured that everybody had a voice. This was definitely the place to ask those burning questions.

How do I choose project management, financial and CRM (customer relationship management) tools for a freelance life?

At the start, it’s easy to rush headlong into a disorganized mess. Rachel Flood from Alignment Ops recommends using tools that streamline data management into a one-time entry that propagates through different cloud-based tools. You can save time on project management, time tracking, invoicing and client wrangling by choosing platforms that talk to each other.
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Posted on April 13, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Access Copyright Payback claim period open until May 31

The 2017 Access Copyright Payback claim period is open from April 1st to May 31. If you’re a writer or visual artist who was affiliated with Access Copyright as of December 31, 2016, now is the time to submit a claim for this year’s payment.

The eligible publication years for the 2017 Payback claim are 1996 to 2015. Written and visual work published during this period in books, magazines, journals and/or newspapers is eligible.

If you’re not yet registered with Access Copyright and you have written or visual work that fits the claim criteria, now might be a good time to register so that you’re ready for next year’s claim period.

For a comprehensive explanation of how Access Copyright and the Access Copyright Foundation could contribute to your income stream, check out this Story Board post.

And for more information or to submit a claim go to the Access Copyright website.

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

Media mixer in Ottawa on April 20

Ottawa media workers, students and freelancers: mark your calendars for an exciting evening of mentorship and networking. You’re invited to a media mixer on April 20th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Clocktower Brew Pub (200 Elgin Street).

CWA Canada associate members is hosting this event to give media workers a chance to make connections with peers and mentors, discuss career paths and the changing nature of media work and learn about some of the intern advocacy work being done at CWA Canada.

Mentors for the evening include Jon Wiling (Ottawa City Hall reporter for the Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun), Michelle Zilio (parliamentary reporter for the Globe and Mail), Evan Przesiecki (Narcity Canada), Ryan Tumilty (Metro News Ottawa), JP Davidson (podcast producer and radio journalist), Vassy Kapelos (Global News and Global National Ottawa Bureau Chief), and Katie Simpson (CBC News).

Everyone’s welcome and snacks and drink tickets will be provided.

Entry to this event is completely free, though there will be a tip jar at the door to the venue to accept donations. Any and all contributions will be donated to the Halifax Typographical Union, a local of CWA Canada whose members at the Chronicle Herald have been on strike for over 400 days.

For full details about this event and to register for your ticket, check out this Eventbrite page.

Posted on April 11, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer April 4-10

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:

  • Webinar: Cyber Security for Journalists: CMG Freelance is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, April 11. The webinar will focus on tangible and easy steps reporters can take to secure their everyday activities online and off. It will cover some of the best apps to use for communication, setting up PGP encryption, and other key operations security activities…
  • Hey, CBC Freelancers, You’re Getting A Raise!: Journalists who contribute to the CBC on a freelance basis are now subject to new minimum rates as of April 1, 2017. The Canadian Media Guild and CBC have agreed to a 1.5% across-the-board increase in rates contained in the collective agreement…
  • Indemnity clauses are the rickety bridges of freelancing: We’ve packed our backpack and made progress up the path by successfully researching and pitching the story. Yet we’ve invested all this time without knowing there is a rickety bridge — an unfavourable contract — to cross at the summit…

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

Webinar: Cyber Security for Journalists

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Buzzfeed reporter Jane Lytvynenko

CMG Freelance is hosting a webinar called Cyber Security for Journalists on Tuesday, April 11 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

The webinar will focus on tangible and easy steps reporters can take to secure their everyday activities online and off. It will cover some of the best apps to use for communication, setting up PGP encryption, and other key operations security activities.

It will be led by journalist Jane Lytvynenko, a reporter for BuzzFeed news who focuses on online disinformation (yes, that means fake news). Previously Jane was the editor at media criticism publication Canadaland. Jane’s freelance work has appeared in the CBC, Maclean’s, NOW Magazine, and others.

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 contract negotiation, pitching, freelance finances, and brand storytelling.

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 April 7, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Hey, CBC Freelancers, You’re Getting A Raise!

By Don Genova, CMG Freelance Branch President
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Journalists who contribute to the CBC on a freelance basis are now subject to new minimum rates as of April 1, 2017. The Canadian Media Guild and CBC have agreed to a 1.5% across-the-board increase in rates contained in the collective agreement.

This means the rates have risen by a total of 4.5% since the last agreement between CMG and CBC was signed in 2014. The current collective agreement doesn’t expire until 2019.

If you are regular contributor who has negotiated more than the minimum rates in a ‘blanket contract’, note that the new rates should not undercut your overscale amount. So, if the minimum rate was $100 and you were making $110, your new rate should be $101.50 + $10.00 for $111.50.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to advise you to make sure you are being contracted in the right category. I’ve heard from a number of freelancers wondering about where they fit into the list of options. The categories should be attached to each freelance contributor contract you receive from the CBC.

Those categories can make quite a difference in your final pay. For example, frequent contributors or columnists on radio programs often write their own introductions and question lines, along with some recorded audio clips. This puts you into the ‘analyst-specialist’ category. A 5-minute item pays a minimum of $304.21. If you were contracted instead at the ‘commentator’ rate, you would only be paid a minimum of $114.72, or as an ‘analyst’, a minimum of $177.04. Quite the difference.
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Posted on April 6, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , , ,

Indemnity clauses – the rickety bridges of freelancing

by Lesley Evans Ogden

bridge-2080271_1920Imagine you want to climb up a mountain to a beautiful viewpoint. You’ve done some research, figured out how to get to the trailhead, packed your backpack, and climbed most of the way up the mountain.

But on the final ascent you arrive at a deep chasm. The only way across is a rickety bridge. The viewpoint is otherwise inaccessible, and it’s too wide a gap to jump. You’ve invested so much time and effort in getting here. It seems silly to quit now.

So what do you do? Do you throw your pack across the gap and gingerly make your way across the bridge? Or do you run across the bridge as fast as you can, hoping that in haste, you won’t exert your full weight on the dubious infrastructure?

This dilemma, to me, is a lot like how freelancers approach new clients. We are goggle-eyed by the possibility of a new byline or credit. We’ve found a good story. We’ve located the trailhead – the contact details for the editor or producer. We’ve packed our backpack and made progress up the path by successfully researching and pitching the story. Yet we’ve invested all this time without knowing there is a rickety bridge — an unfavourable contract — to cross at the summit.

This recently happened to me. About a year ago, an editor at The Walrus contacted me, complimenting me on a story I had written for Nature. The Walrus editor encouraged me to pitch them a story. The embarrassing truth is that it’s hard not to be flattered by these kinds of out-of-the-blue solicitations for pitches. So I did pitch them. My first pitch failed, so I pitched them two more times. My third pitch was successful, and I was excited to have broken new ground.
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Posted on April 5, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · One Comment · Tagged with: , ,