Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer May 24-29

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:

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 May 29, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Webinar: Tax Tips and Financial Planning for Freelancers

Liz SchieckWhen you work for yourself – like so many of us do these days – your business finances ARE your personal finances, and if you’re not careful, things can get very messy.

Join us for a webinar called Tax Tips and Financial Planning for Freelancers on Monday, June 5 at 3:00 p.m. E.T. and start to learn how to run your sole-proprietorship finances.

It will cover questions such as: How do I know if something is a business expense or a personal expense? How much should I be saving for income taxes? What about GST or HST – what even is that? Should I be charging it? What about incorporation – should I be doing that? And will I ever get to go on vacation again? Entrepreneurship is the future, but the money stuff can be really confusing and, let’s be honest, really boringLet us change that and get you organized so that you can work your finances like a boss.

The webinar will be led by Liz Schieck, a certified teacher and financial coach and who is passionate about financial literacy and planning. She loves helping clients wade through all the ugly-pretty financial stuff to make those big goals happen.

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

New webinar on extended health benefits plan for freelancers

Membership in CMG Freelance gives you access to a non-profit extended health care benefits package. And there’s a new webinar on the CMG Freelance website that explains the costs and benefits of the plan.

The Writers’ Coalition Program is an affordable health insurance program offered by the not-for-profit insurer AFBS. CMG Freelance members are guaranteed acceptance into the program, with no medical questionnaires necessary and no refusals based on pre-existing conditions.

There are two program options: Standard and Comprehensive. Both offer dental, prescription drug, extended health care, and travel emergency medical coverage. Both options also provide life and AD&D insurance and a Member and Family Assistance Program. There’s a monthly payment option available and premiums may be tax deductible.  

The Writers’ Coalition’s website will give you a price quote in just two steps and it enables you to enrol in the program and pay online by credit card.

For more information about the plan, you can watch this webinar on the CMG Freelance website. Details about the insurance package are available on this page on the CMG Freelance site and on the Writers’ Coalition Program’s website.

Posted on May 24, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer May 16-23

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:

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 May 23, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

2017 Portenier Human Rights Bursary competition open for applications

Applications opened this week for the 2017 Portenier Human Rights Bursary competition. The winner of the bursary receives $3000 to attend hostile environment training offered by approved course providers.

The competition is open to freelance journalists and independent documentary filmmakers whose work focuses on human rights abuses. The bursary is offered by the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, which also offers a number of training bursaries each year through the Forum Freelance Fund.

The application deadline is June 15th. Winners will be notified by July 31st. For more information on how to apply, see the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma website.

Freelance Isn’t Free Act becomes law in New York City

Yesterday was a historic day for freelancers. The Freelance Isn’t Free Act, which was spearheaded by the Freelancers Union during a year-long campaign last year, became law in New York City.

The law requires anyone hiring a freelancer for work worth $800 or more to use a written contract. The contract must describe the work being commissioned, the rate and payment method, the date when payment is due, and it must include contact information for both parties.

The law also requires contractors to pay their freelancers in full within 30 days of the work being completed or by the payment due date stated on the contract. Companies that do not pay on time could face penalties, including damages and attorney’s fees.

The Freelance Isn’t Free campaign was launched after the Freelancers Union released a report in 2015 that indicated that over 70 percent of freelancers have had trouble getting paid at some point in their careers.

The Freelancers Union also released an app yesterday that will help freelancers find legal support if they need to take action against non-paying clients.

 

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

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer May 9-15

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:

  • Know Your Worth, Know Your Rights: More often than not, writers are being asked to sign contracts these days, says Don Genova, president of CMG Freelance. Contracts can protect you, but they can also put an unfair burden on the writer…
  • Expanding Your Portfolio with Sandra Phinney: With legacy media crumbling and a scarcity of full-time writing jobs, keeping a freelance lifestyle means looking in the nooks and crannies of your own backyard…

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 May 15, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Know Your Worth, Know Your Rights with Don Genova

by Grace Szucs 

CMG Freelance president Don Genova

CMG Freelance President Don Genova

More often than not, writers are being asked to sign contracts these days, says Don Genova, president of CMG Freelance. Contracts can protect you, but they can also put an unfair burden on the writer.

Genova went over some freelance contract basics at an info session hosted by the Canadian Media Guild and CWA Canada in Halifax last week.

Take the time to look over these areas of a contract before you sign:

Moral rights and indemnification

Giving up moral rights means the publication can remove your name from the work, use it for advertising, break it up into pieces and use it in other articles, and they can change the article however they see fit.

Some contracts ask you to indemnify the publication in the event that they get sued. Check out this recent Story Board post by Lesley Evans Ogden about her experience with being asked to do so.

Genova notes that if you give up moral rights and you indemnify the publication, you could be responsible if the publication makes a change to your work that causes them to get sued.

Kill fees

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

Expanding Your Portfolio with Sandra Phinney

By Grace Szucs

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Sandra Phinney speaks at the info session. Photo by Don Genova

With legacy media crumbling and a scarcity of full-time writing jobs, keeping a freelance lifestyle means looking in the nooks and crannies of your own backyard.

Sandra Phinney, freelance writer and photographer based in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, is a travel writer at heart, but has had to get creative to survive.

“I do a lot of it, but I could never earn my living as a travel writer,” she said at an info session hosted by CMG Freelance and CWA Canada at the Dalhousie University Club in Halifax last week.

Diversify

In her past life as a farmer, Phinney learned that the more diversified her crops were, the more she was able to sell. The same applies to writing, she says.

In her early years, she teamed up with videographer, Don Parnell, to create a “one-stop-shop” called Parnell-Phinney Productions. Made up of a team of local on-call skilled media workers including voiceover artists, designers, photographers, translators, and an editor, the company was able to provide everything from newsletters to ad placements. They worked on:
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Posted on May 9, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer May 2-8

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:

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 May 8, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,