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

 

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 15, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Online Q&A for emerging media workers

Journalism students and other emerging media workers should be sure to tune in next Tuesday to an online Q&A session organized by the Canadian University Press and CWA Canada.

Getting Hired! A Q&A for media workers” is scheduled for Tuesday September 16 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The live chat with Käthe Lemon (Editor in Chief of Avenue Magazine), Martin O’Hanlon (Parliamentary Editor of The Canadian Press) and Marlene Murphy (Senior News Writer, CBC Television) will give participants a chance to ask questions about cover letters, resumes and job interviews.

Katherine Lapointe, an organizer with CWA Canada, says the event is part of a series of supports that the union is offering to emerging, student, and non-unionized media workers.

“This workshop will be a great chance to ask experts in the industry for advice on everything from how to convey your social media expertise in a cover letter, to how to turn an internship or contract position into a permanent job, to what questions they want you to ask at an interview,” she told Story Board via email this week.

“We recognize that we have a responsibility as a union to work with the next generation of media workers to support them in finding meaningful work and in advocating for their rights as workers.”

Sign up here for a free Spreecast account to participate in the chat and, if you want, to submit your questions in advance.

And if you would like more information about this event, you can email Katherine Lapointe at klapointe@cwa-scacanada.ca.

 

Posted on September 11, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

What do student journalists need?

by Kayla Perry

Talking about criminalization of poverty - Netroots 2014 - Amber RichardsonOn July 19, student journalists associated with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and CWA Canada gathered during the Netroots Nation conference to answer one question: what do student journalists need?

During the three hour meeting, attendees discussed what student journalists need in order to succeed, in both their university careers and their professional careers once they graduate. Included among those gathered were nine student journalists from various universities across Canada and the United States, including students from Ohio State University and San Francisco State University, as well as various working professionals belonging to The Newspaper Guild (TNG) and CWA. The two students from Canada belong to CWA Canada as associate members, which is a free membership for emerging media workers.

All members of the group unanimously agreed: times are tough for journalists, especially those beginning their careers. And, while journalism school often aims to offer guidance, there is only so much a student can learn inside the classroom. The members of the strategy session brainstormed possible concrete supports that could be offered to students, to help them succeed in their careers after they graduate.

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Posted on September 9, 2014 at 10:32 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Sept 3-8

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?

 

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 8, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Tasty buckets: identifying your motivations as a first step towards freelance business planning

 

by Lesley Evans Ogden

Recently I had the pleasure of attending “Courage Camp,” a master class on the business of freelancing. Run by freelance journalist Christie Aschwanden, with fellow instructors Bruce Barcott (journalist and author), Laura Helmuth (science and health editor at Slate), and Julia Galef, (President and Cofounder of the Center for Applied Rationality), the workshop was held August 24-27, 2014, at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Mountain Research Station.

Even before the workshop, the 23 participants were tasked with business planning and goal setting. Thinking long-term, beyond the daily grind of meeting deadlines and securing work, is something I often neglect. Amongst freelancers, I suspect I’m not alone.

So one of the most important things I took away from the workshop is that freelancing may be a business of one, but it’s still a business, and one worthy of goal setting and careful, insightful planning.

 

LEO Shot 1

Group photo from the Colorado Courage Camp, a master class on the business of freelancing

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Posted on September 5, 2014 at 6:05 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Alternative Funding Models for Independent Media

by Christian Deo

 

Geordie Dent The Media Coop - Aug 2014 Chris Deo

Canadian independent media organizations face a critical question in light of the economic difficulties currently confronting all forms of media: ‘is independent media financially viable and sustainable?

This was the focus of a panel discussion called Financial Models of Independent Media that was hosted by CWA – Canada at the Peoples’ Social Forum in Ottawa during the weekend of August 21-24.

The panel examined the financial models of various independent-media outlets and advocacy groups including the Canadian Association of Television Users and Stations (CACTUS)Rabble.caNational Campus and Community Radio Association of Canada (NCRA)Toronto Media Co-op and Ricochet.

 

Funds for community broadcasting

Campus and community broadcasting licenses for TV and radio can be expensive, hence the need for revenue forms like ads and sponsorships.

Commercial TV broadcasters are also required to spend 2% of their operating budget on engaging in community produced content. While those funds help community stations, CACTUS is lobbying the government to have that 2% pooled into an engagement fund accessible by community start-ups.
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Posted on September 3, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

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: ,